It's okay, guys. I'm resigned to the end. I got two good weeks of unexpectedly warm and lovely weather after the hard freeze, and many a pepper ripened during that time. This is early for us to be shutting down production, but I can remember a 6" snow in Cheyenne on September 1 once, so it could have been worse.
I'm in the indecisive stage right now. If the forecast is correct, I could hold on to these guys for another 10 days. There isn't really a hard freeze slated, just freeze after freeze. I could keep them alive, I think.
They wouldn't have much quality of life, though, not with the cold and the gusts. When it's this chilly and the days are shortening, it takes five or six days to do the maturing they could complete in one warm, quiet day. It's like making a decision to put a beloved pet down. Do you do it now to spare them pain, or hold on a little longer in the hopes that a cure (read: warm stretch) is around the corner?
I really don't even know that I will be able to weight down tarps in this wind. Most of the time they just tear away from their anchors when the winds hit these speeds and are constant, as they are now. I should get out tonight and pull everything. However, I've got a heavy workload ahead of me, grading final drafts. I MUST get those done this evening!
Here's a question: If I leave them uncovered tonight and they freeze, would I be able to salvage the peppers and tomatoes, or would they be ruined?
Back to work