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Blowin' in the Wind, Issue #088 Frost and Gardens - Nov 1, 2011
October 31, 2011
Frost and Gardening
The Frost is on the Pumpkin. Traditionally autumn is a time when frost and gardening become a collective issue and the weather becomes a great deal cooler.
autumn as well.
A few considerations of the autumn weather will be the cooler weather, the harvest, the gardening chores that you need to take care of in the fall, as well as the shorter days and longer nights. The clocks also change during this time of year; we turn our clocks back and the time will change. A few things to think about in the fall are:
HarvestTypically crops will be harvested near the time of the first frost. They will need to be harvested when fully ripe. If it gets cooler at night and they have not ripened, such as may be the case with pumpkins and squash, then you will need to be aware of the weather. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and watch for frost forecasting, as it will help you to be sure to protect plants from freezing. On the nights when frost is expected, you will want to cover your remaining live vegetation. This is done in order to assure that the frost does not land on your garden and leave you with frost damaged plants. Once the sun has come out the next day, remove the coverings. If you leave them on the plants during the sunlight hours may actually burn your plants.
Gardening Jobs for FallNot all gardening tasks involve weeding and watering. The autumn months mean that you need to do a few other things as well. These will help to prepare your garden for the next planting season.
When fall arrives get rid of any plant material that may be left from annual plants. Don't leave plants and flowers in piles. This may give garden pests a great place to winter over.
Till your garden or turn the soil in the late fall. This will destroy a lot of pests, making them lie on the surface where they will freeze.
Plant some kind of a cover. A cover crop may be something like ryegrass. It will help to add nutrients that your ground needs for the springtime planting.
Put shrubs and other plants over more sensitive plants. Those include plants like roses, grape vines, and blackberries. You will want to add leaves or clippings from your grass around the base of these plants in order to help them to avoid injury in the winter. Frost Forecasting has come a long way since the inception of weather forecasts.
When the temperature goes below zero the dew forms into frost. Frost can happen in two ways. The kind of frost that we see the most readily is known as depositional. It sometimes looks like snow to us. This has been deposited by sublimation (without condensing to a liquid state first) and is called hoar frost. It can cover all of the things around you, including trees, your car, and the grass.
Based on the forecast temperatures, as well as the dew points and other parameters, weather personnel can now predict with great likelihood the presence of frost before it takes place so that you can be better prepared for it.
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