Frost Warning for Tonight!

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures will dip into the 30s for the next two nights.

If you already have plants in the ground, you will want to cover them to prevent damage.

How much can the temperature fall before damage is done?

It depends. Some vegetables are more tolerant of the cold than others. And plants that have been growing in cooler conditions are more tolerant than freshly transplanted from the greenhouse vegetables.

“In general, a frost (31-33 degrees F.) will kill beans, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, peas, pepper, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, tomatoes, and watermelon.

Colder temperatures (26-31 degrees F.) may burn foliage but will not kill broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, lettuce, mustard, onion, radish, and turnip.

The real cold weather champs are beets, Brussels sprouts, carrots, collards, kale, parsley, and spinach,” according to the A&M Texas Agriculture website.

Tender herbs such as basil and rosemary should be covered as well.

In my garden I use whatever is available as covers … sheets, newspapers, even cardboard boxes folded to create tents. For fragile plants, I push a dowel into the ground to keep the cover from touching and breaking stems.

Someday soon we will be shaking our collective heads thinking about the crazy start to our season as we slather on sunscreen and reach for our wide-brim hats and sunglasses.

At least, I hope so!

Rainbow Chard, Collards and Kale

Look at this harvest of chard, collards and kale!

Jack, the gardener of plot #4, said he is a first time gardener and a passionate cook.  “It’s a thrill to begin growing my own,”  he said. This year’s crop includes: five tomato plants, four basil, three hot pepper, rainbow chard, kale and collards.

These greens went right from the garden to the kitchen and Jack graciously shared his recipe. “I like to prepare them in a simple Ethiopian style. I saute a little garlic in olive oil, add a thinly slice onion and cook until translucent. Add a chopped tomato until softened, add a bunch of chopped cilantro, stir until wilted, add a bunch or two of chopped chard with 1-2 TBS water, covered and steam until done to your preference. Balance with salt and pepper and a little vinegar, if needed. Delicious!”

There’s more to come, too. Look at Jack’s plot at the community garden.