I am so cross with myself!

I’m such an idiot.  There I was the other night bleating on about how cold it was and taking lots of photos to prove it, when I should have been out there protecting my vulnerable plants with frost cloth!  But to make matters worse, I was so absorbed in my project that I didn’t go out into the garden at all yesterday, so not only were my vulnerable crops hit with frost TWICE, I didn’t go out and do the open and close the greenhouse thing and almost fried all the seedlings in there!  I am such a Muppet!

A couple of days ago.....  and today

A couple of days ago…..                    …….and today                   

So today I was able to take a break from my project and get out there and do some damage control.  I have discovered marigolds are not frost tolerant, so where there was a riot of oranges and yellows protecting my crops from bugs (most of who probably know better than me and have long since gone!) today are reduced to a mushy mess.

Not such a tough guy now!

Not such a tough guy now!

The nasturtiums who were doing a fantastic job of smothering everything in the herb garden, turned out not to be such tough thugs after all.  I really wanted to get some more of the seed pods to pickle, because they really do taste like capers.  So I had to carefully pull it all up to find and gather the seed pods before the whole thing collapsed on itself.

Was beans...

Was beans…

The beans are gone.  There was nothing else for it, but to rip them out.  They had been enjoying a second flush as the weather lately had been so sunny and mild.  They didn’t stand a chance.  One question I kept asking myself as I dug over the bean bed, is why on earth aren’t weeds frost sensitive?

I don't mind Brandy (the escape artist chicken) helping me dig stuff up - so long as she doesn't keep eating my worms!!!!

I don’t mind Brandy (the escape artist chicken) helping me dig stuff up – so long as she doesn’t keep eating my worms!!!!

The most annoying casualty was the capsicum.  There are a whole lot of green peppers and chillies that with a bit of careful nurturing could have limped on for a few more weeks with the wise use of frost cloth!

Just as I predicted, the capsicum flowers are stuffed!   Just a whole lot earlier than I thought!

Just as I predicted, the capsicum flowers are stuffed! Just a whole lot earlier than I thought!

So the whole landscape of the garden has changed – again!  A lot of the height has gone.  The only tall thing left is the peas, which are a variety that isn’t supposed to cope with frost.  The pods are a little mottled from frost damage but I think they will be ok. (I hope!)

I still have to harvest as much of the cape gooseberries as I can, as this has also taken a hit.  It only seems to be the bits on the edges that are damaged as the inside of the bush is still green and lush.  It may limp along under its own steam for maybe another week, if the frosts ease up.  The weather forecast says tonight is supposed to be 5°C so if the other night was anything to go by it will definitely be another frost for us!

I think this means it's time to dig up the kumara (sweet potato)

I think this means it’s time to dig up the kumara (sweet potato)

The last thing to deal with is the Kumara (sweet potato), but I need time to cure them properly when I dig them up or they just go rotten on me overnight.  So I’ll do them tomorrow.  I grew them in black sacks so they would be easier to dig up, because at this time of year our soil is normally too boggy to make it an easy job.  So I guess that’s one blessing I can take from all this – the soil is not boggy!

Well it's not a lot of good there in the shed...

Well it’s not a lot of good there in the shed…

I’ve just realised I’ve done it again, I went around taking all these photos of how terrible it is and how I had to dig everything up, then I put everything away… (Well most stuff away) and shut up my shed – without getting the frost cloth out!  So now I have to wrap up warm and in the failing light, go and protect my capsicum from further destruction!

Come again soon – See how many kumara I dig up – if any!

Sarah : o )

22 Comments on “I am so cross with myself!

  1. Ooooh, haven’t we all done that? The notion crosses our minds–best water today or cover for frost or whatever–but then we move on to the next task and forget. I’m reminding myself today–danger of frost is not yet passed. Do not plant! Good luck with damage control.

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    • Hi There. I have a blackboard in my garden shed with a list of things to do, but its mostly projects and large chores. I think I need another one for daily checklist with things like put away tools, shut greenhouse and other blindingly obvious tasks I always seem to forget! Enjoy your growing season. Cheers Sarah : o)

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  2. Grin… To day was my first 100 (38C) degree day and it’s only the 3 day of May!… I hope you can salvage at least some of your crops.
    Happy gardening

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    • Hi there. There wasn’t all that much left to salvage, the season was pretty much over anyway, I was just trying to kid myself it was still late summer! I hope your summer doesn’t get so hot that it makes gardening unbearable.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  3. Nightmare! I hope you manage to salvage some of your hard work. My plants are doing the greenhouse hokey kokey and I still have loads inside the house, having already lost my tomato seedlings to frost last month. Yesterday was 21 degrees, the forecast for tomorrow night is -5 degrees! I can’t get any gardening done for watching the weather forecast.

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    • Hi there, I should have been watching the weather forecast, but experience tells me they get it wrong more often than not. I remember one season planting all my stuff out on the recommended “safe” day and we had a frost the following week! I think you have to use your own experience as well as the forecasters. Although this frost didn’t blind side me – I just wasn’t paying attention! Good luck with your garden this season.

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  4. It happens to all of us…Mother Nature is unforgiving. But, I’m totally with you on the weed thing…why do they ALL have to be so frost tolerant while are desirable plants just wither at the mention? Ugh. I really like the idea of planting the sweet potatoes in the bags…makes harvesting a TON easier!

    Could you do a post on how you prep those sweet potatoes for storage? I know how to prep squash, but, I’ve never had enough sweet potatoes to have to worry about storing them for long and I have a feeling that I will this year!

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    • Hi Jenn. I spent the day in the garden yesterday and the weeds just seem so much healthier for their icy blast. There was a certain degree of “I’ll teach you…” in my attitude as I whipped them out of their comfort zones!

      Having the sweet potatoes in bags made it really easy to harvest, but there wasn’t all that many in there – probably because of our incredibly yucky summer. So there was only enough for a couple of meals, definitely not enough to store.

      But I understand you need to keep them between 30 – 35 degrees C for 5 -7 days “cure” the skin then store them at between 10 and 20 degrees C. Too cold and they go woody and too hot they start to sprout. It all seems a bit of a palaver, so I normally just peel them, chop them up, blanch them and lob them in the freezer. This works well and is a lot easier! Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Hi There. It’s a little bit heart-breaking to lose stuff to the frost, but it was my own fault, because I took my eye off the garden for a couple of days, so I only have myself to blame. Cheers Sarah : o )

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  5. Sad sad story…I’m on the other end…I haven’t covered my tomatoes and our temp suddenly dipped…I always put them out too early!

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    • Hi Cathy. It’s one thing for a crop at the very end of it’s productive life to be killed in this way, but a wee seedling that hasn’t even had a chance yet is such a shame. I hope you had spares or enough time to grow some. I always grow more seedlings than I need, then wait until all my plants are nicely settled in and growing well, all danger of frost has past and then if I don’t need to replace any I give them all away to friends. Cheers Sarah : o )

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  6. Ugh! I hate it when that happens. Chin up, maybe tonight the weeds will be standing out unable to hide under veggies? What is it with that anyway? Weeds are frost tolerant, drought tolerant, flood tolerant…good gravy after nuclear war it’s going to be the roaches and weeds.

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    • Hi There, There is nothing like a weeding frenzy with a hint of retaliation chucked in for good measure! How dare those weeds survive the frost looking healthier and my plants just look like a miserable mess! Only one thing for it “off with their heads” (and roots!) Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Hi There. Thanks for your sympathetic words, but the garden was on its last legs anyway, being the end of the season. In a way it made it easier to clear out the garden. I hate pulling things out that still have a bit of green on it… its not dead until its dead and brown! Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Hi there. It was the right time to harvest the sweet potato any way. The leaves had just started to turn yellow. So I ended up doing it a week or two earlier than I wanted to, not that that would have made too much difference. It wasn’t the best crop – only enough for a couple of meals. It must have been our terrible summer.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  7. Thank you for visiting my blog – I thought I’d return the favour! Lovely post. I’m glad there’s another gardening muppet out there!
    Christine

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    • Hi Christine, thanks for checking out my blog. I have to say, I’m always doing muppetty things in the garden that I later regret. But then I get to learn from them and without them I wouldn’t have as much interesting stuff to write about! Cheers Sarah : o )

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  8. We don’t have boggy soil, we have rocks…no kumara’s for us :(. We don’t get frost because we are on the river so we are at least lucky on that front. Our chooks are too spoiled to eat worms…they look at them with disdain and completely ignore them while they are waiting for bread fresh from the oven “with butter!”…or they will go on strike…sigh…

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    • Hi there. You could grow Kumara… By harvest time our ground is normally way to boggy to harvest the crop without it rotting on us, so I got a couple of large bin bags, put one inside the other poked holes all over it and filled with good soil and compost and other goodies. The leaves soon grow and cover the bags so it doesn’t look too ugly and I got an OK harvest… well good enough me for to be proud of. Try it next time.
      When the Joeyosaurus (my youngest boy) was at kindy, he used to come home with all the crusts and other bits the kids hadn’t eaten for lunch, for the chickens. They especially liked the teddy bear shaped sandwiches with the 100s and 1000s sprinkle filling! The chickens got a bit of a shock when he started school and the fancy gravy train stopped!

      Cheers Sarah : o )

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