I have been keeping my garden covered with a blue tarp for a week it has been keeping my plants from freezing, it also protects them from frost bit.
I uncovered the plants every day so they get sun light. It was 29 degrees F to nights in a row and 29 about 4 nights ago. It is going to warm up to about 50 degrees F during the day.
Tomatoes plants have a lot of green tomatoes that are trying to get ripe. I picked 2 ripe tomatoes yesterday. This time of the year production is very slow compaired to summer. I have 17 out of 30 plants that made a good come back from blight after the hot summer weather was over.
Sweet potatoes are still doing good too. I planted sweet potatoes very late some time in August. I dug down to see how they are doing there are some good size sweet potatoes in there but I am going to let them grow until cold weather kills the vines.
My Blue Lake Bush beans are making another crop it should be ready to pick soon maybe another week or so.
Bell Peppers and hot peppers are doing great. The mild green chili hot pepper plants are loaded there is probably a 5 gallon bucket full. Bell peppers have 2 peppers that need to be picked. I have made about 4 lbs of chili powder so far from the peppers.
Any place the tarp touches a leaf it will die from the cold. When covering up bush beans you need to gather up a bunch of sticks and poke them in the ground so they stick up about a foot above the plants every 2 ft in each row. Cover with a tarp the sticks keep the tarp from touching the leaves. I can't do that with tall tomato plants so there are several dead leaves near the top of the plants.
I have not tried to protect my garden in cold weather like this in over 20 years. In the past I have had ripe tomatoes until the last week of December. Once the temperature drops to the low 20s it is hard to keep the plants from freezing. There is a lot of BTUs of heat in the soil the tarp acts like a blanket to keep the plants from freezing. I have always wanted a green house I bet I could have tomatoes all winter if I had one.
I have been keeping my herbs covered with plastic trash cans and 5 gallon buckets. I decided to pick all the sweet basil and lemon basil yesterday. I still have parsley and savory. Last year the parsley and savory did fine in cold weather I did not cover them and they did not die until we had a whole week of 17 degree weather.