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Frost? Not now please…..

May 4, 2011
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Weather.com has just lowered their forecast low for tonight from 34 to 33.
Accuweather and the National Weather Service suggest otherwise – 38 and 37 respectively.

In my experience this past winter the most accurate of the three websites in predicting lows behind my fence is the NWS followed closely by Accuweather; Weather.com is off a bit more often than not.

With more than half of my tomatoes already in the ground, temps in the mid 30s are bad enough but a frost on my unprotected plants would be a real bummer- I’d have to (gasp) buy tomato plants from a commercial nursery.

SO

I pulled the plastic sheeting I used for winter cover out from under Lizzie’s and rolled it out for inspection; if it hadn’t become too brittle from the UV exposure I figured I’d rig some cover for night and hope Weather.com was wrong again. (This exercise provided some extremely ripe water from the last 6 horizontal rains to pour out of the folded plastic into my shoes.)

The plastic was good to go so by dusk the two planted tomato beds in the back were tucked and the middle one had a nice blue tarp over it. Two individual plants were covered (with a wheel barrel and a plastic garbage can) and the final one is defended by two bags of mulch curled around it.

I didn’t realize until recently that some tomato varieties can be stunted by cold weather, something to be concerned with if temperatures drop much below the low 40s. Obviously frost will do the plant in for good but even the cold temperatures can have a lasting negative impact on the plant. The younger the plant to higher the risk (I have read). There are a variety of opinions on this and while I think my plants are hardened off well enough to do fine, I remain cautious.

So basically my choice was to come in and watch American Idol after picking a couple more quarts of strawberries and a fair batch of sugar snap peas, or I could fill my shoes with putrid water and protect my tomato plants.

Yeah, it was an easy choice…

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 6, 2011 6:55 am

    Weather.com missed by a mile- 38 was the low @ the backyard thermometer.

  2. Docwatmo permalink
    May 6, 2011 3:36 pm

    So who won on Idle? …… LOL, Good call. I was worried last night, we dipped down again too. But not quite to frost level. I am thinking the big frost 4 days ago was our last.

    Keep up the good work.

    Doc

    • May 6, 2011 4:36 pm

      we hadn’t had a frost in a month and our published “last frost date” consensus is tax day.

      Soon we will have warmth, I feel it coming.

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