Aside from being the Boy Scout Motto, Tennessee gardeners need to be prepared this weekend for some of the coldest temperatures yet this fall. According to the Weather Channel
the lows this weekend will be dipping down to a chilly 40 F, 38 F, and will end with a frigid 36 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday evening. Which means that this growing season is (sadly) coming to an end.
It also means that it's time for some last minute preparations for my garden.
Here's what I plan to do in preparation for the frost:
- Take any last minute cuttings. I can house a limited number of cuttings indoors then gradually acclimate them as their root systems grow over the winter. If my greenhouse were ready I would be able to use it but for now the garage will have to do. I plan on saving several of my tender perennials to hopefully reduce my gardening budget for next year. I've already taken cuttings from my coleus but I have a couple more to do as well as some Persian Shield. Among the perennials I'll take more Asiatic lily leaf cuttings, catmint, salvia, and anything else I have room for indoors. I won't be taking cuttings of anything I can do from hardwood cuttings. I'll save those for later after the plants have gone dormant.
- Plant the pansies I have sitting in flat! I bought them last week but with all the rain I haven't gotten around to doing anything with them. Pansies can withstand cooler temperatures great but probably prefer it if their roots are nestled into the soil. If I need to I'll move the pansies to the garage temporarily.
- I need to assemble a rudimentary hoop house over a couple of the garden beds to keep them growing a while longer. It's mostly to protect the bush beans as the other vegetables I have growing can withstand a light frost. The beans might be able to as well but as I just picked a gallon of beans from them I'd like to see if I can get more and I don't want to take any chances!
- Gather all the basil I can. This is a definite pesto week since the basil will effectively be a "goner" after Friday night. I'll store it in the freezer for use later this winter.
- Remove hoses from the faucets. It's probably not necessary to get it done this weekend as we shouldn't get below freezing but we live in a frost pocket where our temperatures routinely get 5-10 degrees below the forecasted temperatures. Since I'm probably done with most of the hoses for the year I should go ahead and put them away.
There's my short list of things to do before the frost. I've probably left a few things out and I'll update this post with more as I can think of it.
What garden preparations are you making for frost?
Labels: garden to-do list, protecting plants from frost, to do