I don't know what the low was last night, but whatever it was, it was definitely prolonged. When I lay down last night, the temperature was 35. It was 28 when I got up this morning. Despite the tarps, two of the remaining four beds--the Super Chile/Nu Mex Big Jim cross and the Habaneros--were lost. Tonight I covered the last two beds, which are the tomatoes and the Frankenchilies. I'm going to do my best to get keep them both alive through Saturday night, and on Sunday, I will strip them and let them go.
They both look pretty rough. On Sunday, the last day of my weekend and two days before the pre-winter stretch hits, I will have sufficient free time to strip these pepper plants of everything. I will then perform Gardener Assisted Suicide (GAS) on my beloved peppers.
My students have written so many papers on the human version that I know all the arguments by heart. I assure you I have nothing personally to gain from this, financially or emotionally. There is no possibility of a cure for winter in the near future. I am a lapsed Catholic who has committed far worse sins in her life than planticide. I believe this is what the peppers would want, if they could somehow communicate their wishes to me. It is time for a cessation of the pain and suffering.
May the plant deities have mercy on my soul.