Tuesday, December 15, 2009

First Hard Freeze

Well...it happened (although a bit early this year)...we had our first hard freeze and hard it was!  Friday night, December 4th, the temperatures dipped to 18 degrees.  That is very unusual for South Texas, even for those of us who live in the hills.  It may be hard to see in this photo, but the hills across the river were covered with a thin white frost...it was just beautiful.  

Around 7:30 pm that evening the temperature was 21 degrees and it steadily dropped throughout the night to a low of 18.  Needless to say, I lost some stuff :-(  My tomatoes froze, as did my Italian squash and butternut squash.  These vegetables cannot withstand such a hard freeze. 

Pretty sad, eh?

The beets, carrots, spinach, pak choi and cabbage came through the freeze just fine.  I did cover them with frost blankets and I know that helped.  But these vegetables are pretty frost resistant.   

My Knock Out Roses froze as well, but they are very hardy and "defrosted" just fine. 

I learned a few of things from this hard freeze:
     1.  I should have planted my fall tomatoes earlier than what I did.  At least I might have been able to pick some ripe tomatoes before the frost.
     2.  I should have picked all the green tomatoes from the vines before the freeze.  Even though I'm not from the South and didn't grow up with them, I could have made fried green tomatoes.  I've heard they are delicious.  I also could have tried a recipe for a spicy green tomato jam that is in my canning book.
     3.  I should have picked all the Italian squash, even though they were tiny.  At least I could have had sauteed baby squash one night for dinner :-/ 

All in all, not a fatal event, but a learning experience for sure.

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