Believe it or not (I can't), we've yet to have a hard frost. Here's what's still growing in my raised beds. (Tour of the field garden in the upcoming week.)
I have a cold frame over three of the raised beds. Two of them are salad greens that I started in late summer hoping to stretch out our salad meals as far into the fall as I could.
This is the first one and has four kinds of lettuce and Swiss chard in it.
The next has some salad greens in it starting with baby kale closest in the picture, then arugula, Scarlett Frill and more Swiss chard.
My green pepper plants have lived under a cold frame all this cool, cool summer and are still there going strong. I've harvested most of the peppers and made Stuffed Green Peppers that are in the freezer, but there are still many huge peppers on the plants. This time of year they are sooo sweet that we've been crunching up a whole one raw every day. They're almost addictive.
Isn't this kale beautiful? I have another half bed of it in another raised bed, too. The cool fall weather really does improve its flavor. Past the kale in this bed are beets I'll harvest and store "fresh" in the root cellar.
Last but not least (or maybe it is least depending on how you look at it) is my one cherry tomato plant that survived this year. Standing out in the open with no protection even now. Sure! Here it is past the middle of October and I'm FINALLY getting tomatoes that really do want to ripen . . . but don't stand much of a chance this time of year. I've been picking the ones that have started to turn color, setting them on the counter inside where they do become a lovely red and . . . surprise, surprise, even have a nice flavor.
That's the raised bed garden report, folks. Green tomatoes or not, I'm very, very grateful to still have the luscious salad greens we do.
Surprises and watched pots
2 hours ago
What was this you are always saying about living in the Tundra???????
Our temps the past week have been in the mid 20's. Even my cold weather crops have been toast for almost a month. I think I'll pop by and steal some of your bounty. Don't shoot--ha ha. I'll leave pie......
Sue - I know! I cannot believe our lack of heavy frost thus far this fall. (Are we being lulled into complacency?) Your temps are so much colder than ours and it's usually the other way around.
If I see you lurking around in my garden pilfering a big basket of kale, I will not shoot . . . especially if you have PIE! ;o}
Your garden is amazing for this time of year. You are amazing gardeners! And here I am in southern California with nary a radish in the ground. Used to garden, but then all these local organic farms started up and for one person it just made sense to buy from them. Enjoy all that yummy produce!
Glad to see you're still getting some good stuff after your cool, wet summer. I'm studying your cold frames. I can see a few of those in our future. Not this year though, after two hard frosts and a freeze our garden has gotta throw in the towel and be done producing soon!
That's awesome. It's way to cold here for anything to grow now. Frost has arrived and so forth. Yay for the tomatoes. That's great!
I am amazed at how much we still have growing since we have had a number of really hard frosts. The tomatoes finally got it.....but, they were doing nothing but rotting this year anyway. Not a good tomato year. Root crops are fine tho as are the broccoli plants that are still producing!
Just (re)found your blog! Love your cold frames. We are in northern Wisconsin, probably close the same zone as yours. Just moved into this house in September, so no garden this year. Hopefully next!
You may do this already but if not here ya go...take those green ones lay on newspaper either stacked on top of each other in layers in a box or if you have a table you don't use ....laying the newspaper out and lay them on it...they will ripen ...be sure to keep the stem on them...they taste better and ripen better. I do this when I know it is about to frost....then I still have ripe tomatoes even when it is snowing out.....love to see you still have fresh veggies....
Mollie - Oh my, sure wish we had a bunch of local organic farms to fall back on when one of our crops fails! Enjoy the bounty you have available, Mollie!
Mark - We use the cold frames in the spring, too, to get some of our crops up and going if the weather is unusually cool. (Or is our cooler weather the usual now?!)
Kristina - WHAT? You're supposed to be way warmer than we are! I tell ya, this weather thing is about to get the best of all of us!
Tombstone Livestock - Thank you, ma'am!
FoxyLady - Yep, broccoli likes even a frost or two. (Probably kills the dang worms that love the broccoli, too! Or at least we can hope so.)
Cheri - I looked on the zone map and northern Wisconsin certainly boasts a plethora of different zones! You may well be in the same zone as we are . . . Zone 4?
Good luck with your gardening next year . . . and congratulations on your new home!
M.E.Masterson - Thank you, thank you for jogging my fuzzy memory! I do this with full-sized tomatoes when I have them but have never thought of doing it with the cherry tomatoes. (Duh.) Usually at the end of the season we've had our fill, and then some, of cherry tomatoes so we're ready to see them go. I am going to go snip off clusters of the many (green) cherry tomatoes out there today and layer them in a cardboard box. Thanks again!
Hi Mama Pea, I have read your blog for a couple of years now- really enjoy it and all the gardening info you provide. Your cold frames look great. Could you please give me some more info on the coverings you have tacked on the frames. I live in Wasilla, Alaska ( zone 3,a little 2, and zone 4 in spots on our property) and think your frames could really work up here ( am a beginning gardener ). Thank you so much!
Little P - We covered our cold frame frames (huh?) with a special reinforced greenhouse plastic that we got from Northern Greenhouse in North Dakota. It's proven to be super-durable and just the ticket we needed for our cold frames.
Sending best wishes for your gardening success. And you're welcome!
I'd say your garden is doing fantastically well! Love the cold frames. Every year I say I'm going to make some but I never do. Your's are inspiring!
How is it that we have had three hard frosts down here and you - waaaaay up north have had nada? It's downright weird. Your garden looks wonderful - how tantalizing and frustrating to have a cherry tomato plant that laden with almost-ripe tomatoes!
Leigh - Thanks for the kind words. If it were not for my cold frames to use in the spring and fall, I'd get a lot less from my garden!
Susan - I took the wonderful suggestion from a commenter and snipped all the cherry tomatoes off the plant (keeping them on the stems), brought them inside and layered them between newspaper in a cardboard box. I'll do a post on how they ripen this way.
Beats me why we STILL haven't had a hard frost . . . and you've had three. I think I'm gonna give up trying to figure it out . . .
Oh my gosh! Those are some delicious looking produce. How I wish I had planted as much. I'm sure you and your family are enjoying your scrumptious autumn salads. Your kales look so vividly brilliant, which is a testament to your skill as a gardener. Thank you for that wonderful tour! Wishing everyone the best of health this season!
Terry Holt @ Land Tech
Terry Holt - I do love to garden (although I'm usually ready for a rest this time of year) and our winter is long so we do relish these last-of-the-season goodies the garden still gives us!
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