Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Old Man Winter Takes His Toll!

I decided it might be interesting to do a post about the results of sustained colder than normal temps on the garden. Even if we're not busy harvesting vegetables, gardens are still interesting to look at.

It started out with the first frost of the season a few days ago.

After the frost came the snow...

then the constant unseasonable cold temperatures...

and this was the result.
This is what the chayote looked like after our unseasonable cold snap into the 20's for several nights.

My fig tree survived the snow...

but the cold took it's toll. It will grow out in the spring.

This is my pumpkin row, or should I say this was my pumpkin row.

Only a handful of pumpkins will be picked and stored to mature.

Here's another little one.

Here's a smaller one, and that's the crop.

Here is a shot of the snap bean vines as they look now. I'm happy to say that this year I have not had the first problem with Mexican Bean Beetles! I don't know why that is, but it works for me!

Here's another view of the snap beans. They're finished.

These are/were my butternut squash vines on the fence.

These are my buttercrunch lettuce plants. Surprisingly, they are doing very well after all this. I really expected them to be gone from the snow and bitter cold.

The salsify and beets got their share of snow.

This is how my salsify plants look. Even though they're a cool weather crop, they laid down but they will pick back up. They won't be ready to harvest until early spring.

Here are some Detroit Dark Red beets. They're surviving, and I expect to harvest them in late spring.

My Ruby Queen beets were planted on August 17th, and are taking forever to bulb up, but I'm not giving in. I'll wait them out!

Maybe these are snow carrots!

My carrots are in a state of shock. They look worse than when the snow was on them.

The fennel and dill are slumped over, but they are coming back as the day goes along. I'll have to put them in my shop for protection from the cold. These are going to be transplanted to serve as a butterfly food source for next year.

The Swiss chard fared pretty well. It survived under several inches of snow several times last year.

Here is a shot of the whole chilly garden. Although the beans are finished, it was time for them to be. Now the cold weather crops have to carry us through the winter to spring.

Thanks for taking the time to visit and for sharing your comments with me! Now it's time for hot chocolate!

Have a great vegetable gardening day!
Veggie PAK


  1. I really enjoyed looking at this post. I may have to try carrots and beets in containers next year.

  2. I'm amazed your pumpkins keep going so late! One of the challenges here is the short growing season - we only have May to early October to sow, grow and pick pumpkins. Like yours, my chard keeps going through the winter and under the snow, so I get an early spring crop which is nice.

  3. I was so sad when my chard melted! You give me hope that soon my garden will not affect my emotions so!

  4. Boy I think that everyone is getting hit with some really cold weather! It looks like your garden faired well. It's so cold here...I don't even want to check on the veggies in the cold frames.

  5. becky3086, The carrots are doing well when compared to my previous experience with them in the ground. They were planted on 22 August, and their maturity date was supposed to be 31 October, but I let them grow until now because I figured they would grow slower in cooler weather. I'll pull them soon.
    The beets in barrels were the second attempt to grow something in 1/2 barrels. Potatoes were the first. The caterpillars kept getting them, though. With the beets, you can throw the scheduled maturity date out the window. I don't know when they'll be ready. If nothing else, I can use the beet greens.

    Ruth@VS, my pumpkins were planted as seed on 13 September because I got the seeds late. That was probably too late to plant them and expect a crop, but I wanted to try.
    I'll be planting my large pumpkin seed inside the house in soil blocks about 4 weeks before the last frost date in the spring.

    xoxoxo, I try to anticipate the possibility of disappointing outcomes from different crops. The way I see it, if a crop grows, that's good. If it fails, well, that's an opportunity to try another crop in it's place, so it's still good. I don't expect a "disappointment", but I try to plan for the "just in case" beforehand. Have something else in mind to stick in there.

    Robin, My winter crops do pretty good. It's strange how bad the plants like Swiss chard look in the morning. Laying down, limp, looking really sad. But, by afternoon, they have sprung back up!
    I was told last year that when there are a lot of berries on ornamental bushes, we are to be expecting a hard winter. Last year, there were a lot of those berries, and we had one of the snowiest winters in decades. Unfortunately, there were a lot of berries this year too!

    Thanks to each of you for visiting and commenting! Special thanks to Robin for helping me get my comment section working!

    Veggie PAK

  6. Thanks for visiting Nyack Backyard - nice to "meet" you and your blog! You have a very inspiring winter garden- lots still in and growing! and look at that lettuce! I think I will leave my chard in next year. My beets look like yours - curious what spring will bring for them. The roots are only about 1" now.
    Happy Holidays!

  7. JGH, Likewise, thanks for visiting! This is my first year growing lettuce. I'm surprised that even now it looks great! It's more cold tolerant than I ever thought. Since our ground doesn't freeze, I always leave my chard in through the winter. It is very durable. Even if my ground froze, I would be inclined to leave it in there just to see what would happen in the spring. It may be that when it's muddy and thawing, the chard would be growing as soon as the ground began to thaw. Not sure of that, but it would be worth a try to find out.

    Beets. Oh! I wish my beets were 1" in diameter. They're still straight roots and they were planted on September 20th. And this in in commercial organic soil, not soil from the garden. Maybe they always take much longer than the package says. I even wrote to Crossman Seeds, but they haven't answered me. I guess they will be ready by spring. We'll see.

    Happy Holidays to you and yours!
    Veggie PAK

  8. ugh - a killing frost makes everything look so horrendous, doesn't it?

  9. Wendy, Yes, it does! It looks awful!