Frost. How does the rest of the world do without this? It kills diseased and pesky things, softens our soil, provides new migration routes, lets plants and animals (hibernation) and Sherry rest, makes intricate, lacy designs on our windows and turns the leaves into colorful confetti. Of course it also makes it so we can’t grow a garden half of the year and makes us buy heavy jackets.
It hit for the first time just lightly last week. Remember this is northern Alberta. Even in north-central Alberta they often get frost in mid August. The summers in the North are shorter but the days are longer to make up the difference and in my area we don’t normally get frost until September. On top of that I happened upon a little microclimate when I chose our property which I further enhanced by placing my garden near a large body of water – our dugout. Still, a lot of what I grow needs a head start indoors.
The only obvious damage is to the frost-intollerant squash. The tomatoes still are producing. As I also mentioned, the peas are growing, along with all the other things I pruned off. The last carrots I dug tasted sweet already from it. It sure doesn’t take much frost to make them super-tasty!
I’ve put more dirt on the potatoes, carrots, turnips, beets, etc. so that they can keep longer outside and spread out my work load. I don’t want to leave them there if there’s a risk of them freezing in the ground.
They say it’s going to be close to freezing again tonight so I went to the garden again to see if anything else should be looked after.
I decided that the lettuce was close enough to make good seed. I plucked some of it out of the dark garden and some from the front of the house to put on my bay window to dry.
That area of the house gets very busy looking this time of the year. When I think about that window now, I realize it’s usually busy. In the spring it’s my nursery, in the fall I dry things there, and in the winter I make a Christmas scene there. Summer is it’s only reprieve unless I decide to tan there…not.