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stella1751
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It's Too Soon! I'm Not Ready!

The forecast low for tonight is 36. Generally, I run considerably colder than the airport, given my proximity to Casper Mountain. This is considerably unfair. It's only September 13, for crying out loud, and summer didn't start until mid-June!

I have roughly ten hours to decide whether to risk it or to get out there and cover everything. There is so much I can't cover, though, like the corn, which is about just finishing up, and the pumpkins, which are sprawled all over the backyard and roughly two weeks from maturity. I will definitely have to cover my favorites: the tomatoes and as many peppers as I can. The HBC II's will pose a huge problem. They are over 4' tall now.

I'll need to get outside somtime today to get photos, just in case. I like to have final season photos of each year's garden.

It had better not freeze, that's all I can say :evil:
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rainbowgardener
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Yeah fall slammed down hard here too. A little over a week ago, we went from high of 98 to high of 68, in 48 hrs. Now we are going to have a low in the 40's coming up and we will have to start bringing in tropical plants and turn on the furnace a month early....

But that's not as bad as frost in June and Sept! Tough climate to garden in. Seems like you need a greenhouse and/or a good indoor set up.
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jal_ut
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I am with you. Sad, but the average first frost here is Sept 18. This morning it was in the upper 40s. Its about over here. Yes, we sometimes have frost in June too.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

garudamon11
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It doesnt snow here but I noticed that the weather was nice today, which is quite weird cause the weather usually starts chaning in late October

greenstubbs
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garudamon11 wrote:It doesnt snow here but I noticed that the weather was nice today, which is quite weird cause the weather usually starts chaning in late October
I have to agree with you on that! I've been in UAE since early Aug and I must say that today was a beautiful day compared to what I've seen since being here. Can't wait to get back to California though, I miss my grill and garden, and green foilage!

garudamon11
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greenstubbs wrote:
garudamon11 wrote:It doesnt snow here but I noticed that the weather was nice today, which is quite weird cause the weather usually starts chaning in late October
I have to agree with you on that! I've been in UAE since early Aug and I must say that today was a beautiful day compared to what I've seen since being here. Can't wait to get back to California though, I miss my grill and garden, and green foilage!
I hope you enjoyed your stay :) I used to think that UAE is the worst place for gardening but it seems snow is alot worse than short but hot days, watering daily seems to solve all heat related problems for me :>

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cherishedtiger
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Ack!! Cover and save what you can!!! :shock:

Its still hot here in California... just planted a bunch of stuff, that if we get the sudden cool down everyone is speaking of I know is ruined. But I am going off the fact that is been in the mid to upper 90's for 2 weeks and looks like its going to stay that way for a while... I am gambling planting so much so late, but why not!

But if your stuff is well into maturity and you only have a little longer to go, I would protect it as much as possible or you could have a big loss on your hands, which would make me cry and I don't want to see you cry. :cry:

Good luck tonight! Let us know how everything fares!!
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stella1751
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I just checked the weather forecast. We had a pretty warm day, up in the mid-70's, I suspect. I kept watching for the wind to rise, which it always does when a front is moving through, but it never did. I finally decided to check the forecast to see whether it proved a slow-moving or a fast-moving system. Sometimes, if we get really lucky, the cold front comes through during the day, not the night, and then we can hold off for a while longer.

Yay :clap: It's a slow-moving one. It will hit us tomorrow during the day. Tonight will stay in the 40's; tomorrow will only hit 60. The following night shows 39. That could change, but I might just be able to live with 39 without having to smash plants with covers.

I've gotten spoiled. We've had two, maybe three, warm falls in a row. I haven't had to cover my plants until October. By then, everything is done but the tomatoes and the peppers, and covering plants is not the stressful chore it is when all nine beds are full. I just plain wasn't ready to think plant protection, not on September 13, for crying out loud! Now, now it's going to be on my mind each and every day. I hate the end. There's always so much more they could have accomplished if given just one more month :cry:

I began picking before I decided to check the forecast again. I now have a monster bag full of Super Chilies. You gotta love the way those guys produce, but it's a one-hour job just to strip the ten plants I picked!
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Stella, that's great to hear!

One thing I can say is not to leave an open container of warm water under the covers with the pepper plants. I did this once when the nights were getting cold. I covered a few peppers with buckets and put soup cans with boiling water underneath the buckets. In the morning, the UNCOVERED plants were fine, but the ones under the buckets were hit...so the moisture in the air must have had something to do with it.
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digitS'
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Re: It's Too Soon! I'm Not Ready!

stella1751 wrote:. . . It's only September 13, for crying out loud, and summer didn't start until mid-June! . . .
That could certainly be the story up here, about 800 miles to your northwest, Stella. Really tho', I'm not sure if we didn't have to wait until July for warm weather! It was such a long, cold start to the season . . .

A frost September 13th wouldn't be surprising in my garden but it sure would be disappointing. We've just had some record heat (after all those records at the other end of the season)! All of my warm-season plants are small but, Oh Boy(!), did they decide to produce some peppers, tomatoes, corn, etc.! Now, if they can just completely ripen.

Good Luck Stella, at continuing to dodge that frost, :) !

Steve
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gixxerific
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Yes good luck. We are expect to hit tie or break record lows tommorow morning. 45 degrees burrrrr!!. It was mid 90's a day ago.

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I was going to type that I could hear your anguished cry all the way on the Atlantic coast.... But you updated your weather report.... :wink:

Best of luck. Are you going to try overwintering some of the mature pepper plants this winter?

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Usually here in Pa.we get a frost and then a month of nice weather. I am ready for a frost but not in all my gardens!
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stella1751
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It's a freak weather system, where we got caught between gulf air and a cold front from Canada. Our high today was 50. At one point this evening, there was a 40 degree difference between Salt Lake and Casper, and Salt Lake is only 200 miles from us.

The local weather forecasters say that because of the cloud cover we won't get below 40 tonight, so I'm not covering tonight, either. We seriously dodged the bullet on this one. I take back everything bad I said about Mother Nature. If this system had rolled in last night, things would have gotten really ugly!

BTW, I picked another watermelon today. It looked just the same as the last one, which I do believe I picked well over a year ago, right? Man, those guys are taking their sweet time ripening!
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ButterflyGarden
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WOW, Winter in September? It's still in the 80's here and will not get to the 50's until some time in November (Usually). September is still considered Summer here.

Even with this though, my tomatoes are on their last harvest, too much trauma this year, and I've noticed that my garden is getting smaller. I'll have to enjoy the last few summer harvests while I can. On to fall planting.......
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RyNJ
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Good luck! That's a lot of winter you've got to deal with. I was gonna say that that is way too early, but because of that cold front we're gonna be down in the 40s tonight. Outside right now it's downright cold.

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Butterfly, I'm a container gardener too. I agree-great things come in small packages !
What else are you growing?
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Cold Weather

It is hard for me to imagine, I haven't been in a cold climate since I was a child and when you talk lows like 40 I just can't grasp that in Sept. I am so sorry to hear that, I hope you can salvage and prolong some plant activity. I know it is probably depressing to have to stop. I do hope your harvest was good. Here in Florida it is the same old - same old till January. Then we get one maybe two months of winter cold and then hot again. But it really doesn't help us either in growing things, the heat and humidity keep the bugs and disease a coming longer then we would like. Enjoy the change to fall, I do evny you there.
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We got rain Saturday evening and it cleared up Sunday. I was really expecting frost as this is the time we usually get it. Yay, it didn't even get down in the 30s. Give it another week and my garden will be about done. This is nice. I still have some green tomatoes, but they are turning fast.
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stella1751
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I will definitely have to cover tonight. The forecast low is for 33. Two bad nights in a row, and then maybe a week of good weather? I picked all the corn but one stalk yesterday that I will leave for seed. I tore out the rest of the stalks and used a bungie cord to fasten the remaining one to the fence. Without its companions, it can't stand alone against the wind.

I am not looking forward to tonight. I should be ready now, but I guess I never really am.
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digitS'
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You are up early preparing yourself for this weather tonight, Stella :wink: .

It is 44°F in my garden right now and should drop another degree or 2. But, we are going the other direction for daily highs. The Weather Service is predicting 90° on Saturday!!

That would be another record high.

Long hours of darkness, arid conditions, elevation . . . Here, there are 30 to 40 degree temperature daily swings at this time of year. Probably even more so there for you. We will have another week of the growing season but soon, the plants will slow their growth so much overnight that a warm, sunny afternoon won't help much. Ripening conditions are favorable!

It is almost as tho' our growing season shifted with a 6 week delay.

Steve
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stella1751
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Any ideas on covering those peppers? They are producing peppers all the way up, roughly a foot or two above their current stakes. All I can think of is to put 8' green poles along the middle and cover them with a tarp. I wish they were in my hooped bed :cry:

Thinking positively, they are in the one bed that that's located next to my dryer vent. I've had some small success in the past with running it empty during a cold snap.
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stella1751
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It's currently 31 degrees at the Casper airport and likely several degrees colder at my place. Sigh. It's begun.
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digitS'
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Stella, it is currently 36°F in Sandpoint and 44°F in Creston. No doubt, Eastport is several degrees cooler than both and has probably already had a killing frost, anyway.

Have you ever considered moving to an area that has warmer weather?

I know I have! Of course, my dream situation is to have a home in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern hemisphere . . . I've been thinking - Tasmania :D .

Can only dream . . .

Steve :wink:
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stella1751
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I'm a native North Dakotan, actually a fourth-generation North Dakotan, so the cold probably runs crisply through my veins. We don't like the cold any more than anyone else, but we don't really know how to live without it. When I was seventeen, my father was transferred to Hawaii. I stayed there until I turned 18, and then I caught the first plane back to the Northern plains, well, close enough: Denver.

I apologize if it seems like I'm whining, Steve. It just feels to me like it's newsworthy to other gardeners, and it feels good to share. It's currently 29 degrees at the Casper airport. I am feeling fatalistic right now.

I will definitely have lost my pumpkins, Super Chilies, corn, and radishes, which I didn't have time to cover last night, having devoted my efforts to pounding enough T-posts around the HBC II's so they didn't have to bear the weight of a tarp. I probably lost at least the tops of the watermelon plants and Habaneros, which I tried to cover with sheets and quilts. I may have lost the tomatoes, but probably not, if the temperature doesn't drop much lower.

Se la vie. Such is life. I am right now saying some serious prayers for the HBC II's. If they make it, I will be an extremely happy gardener, and you will hear my sigh of relief all the way to the Idaho Panhandle!
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stella1751
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It's now 26 degrees. I am sad.
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Stella, I'm very sorry to hear that your gardening season is coming to a close. However, you can look at it this way: now you have time to spend pouring over seed catalogs, deciding which plants to start for next year and how many, planning out next year's garden.

Stella, have you ever considered a greenhouse? That would surely extend your growing season.

How did things fair last night? Did anything survive?
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digitS'
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stella1751 wrote:. . . if it seems like I'm whining . . .
Whining? Not at all!!

Difficult to be gardeners when gardens disappear under the heavy hand of Jack Frost . . . !

I'm not sure how I would behave if I lived where gardening stops for several months during the heat of summer. I'd probably wander off aimlessly . . . until heat stroke set in :roll: .

Instead, I'm inspired by spring! Then, fall brings melancholy . . .

We can just do the best we can with what we have to work with. And now, to enjoy the harvest, the sparkle of light on a frosted landscape, the soft light of sunrise and sunset, autumn colors, and the pure white of the first snow.

Steve
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stella1751
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You could not be more correct, Steve! When my pumpkins leaves were shriveling and my Super Chilies, unripe, were cocking up their roots in the space of four hours, I should have been poring over a map, contemplating a more habitable gardening paradise. When my corn plant's leaves were softening and blackening, flopping uselessly at its sides, all in the space of 240 minutes, my withers should have been wrung with compassion for my southermost gardening friends. When the radishes flopped, flattened in green paper rosettes dotting the frost encrusted soil, all in a mere 14,400 seconds, could I not have spared a thought for spring?

I am enveloped in a cloak of negativity that I must shake off and put away. Onward, California! Stand tall, my southern friends! Spring is just around the corner!

nutz:
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What are HBC II's?
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stella1751
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HBC II's is short for Gurney's Hybrid Big Chile II. The seeds were released briefly, maybe for two years, about ten years ago and then discontinued and replaced in its lineup with the Sahuaro (sp). I bought a packet and never used them until last year when I started three seedlings, one of which produced peppers almost a foot long.

This year's HBC II's are the second generation. So far, they haven't achieved the same length, but they are a long-season pepper and have a ways to go still. So far, the longest is 10". Following are photos:

[img]https://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy292/mitbah/Pepper12.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy292/mitbah/Pepper1.jpg[/img]

They did not die in yesterday's 26 degree temperatures, when I lost five out of nine beds. The ten-day forecast is looking good, BTW, and I might get two more weeks :clap:
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