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!
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.
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.
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?
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!
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!
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!
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 )