barnhardt9999
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Location: Charlotte, NC

Frost damage, what now?

My garden had happily been in the garden since about 3/15 (4/1 for the cucumbers) and everything was coming along nicely. Had flower buds on the pumpkins, winter and yellow squash and tomatoes. Last night there was frost and my pumpkins are in bad shape (60% of each plant is damaged), winter squash have visibly frost burnt leafs (25% of the plant) and the rest have only slight damage around the edges that isn't very apparent unless looking closely.

What is the best strategy going forward? Should I pull everything up and start over? Cut off the damaged areas? or do nothing and wait and see how they recover? Are the ones without apparent damaged still going to have a tough time recovering?

I still have some backup tomato seedlings but they are somewhat root-bound and kind of neglected since the frost kind of snuck up out of a nice forecast and I didn't expect to use them.

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Kisal
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I would do nothing and give the plants a chance to recover naturally. Watch your weather reports for warnings of further frosts, though, and cover what you can for protection on those nights.

Unless the plant's stem tissue is so damaged that it's blackened and dead looking, the plant very well could recover.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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jal_ut
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I would give it some time. Sounds like a lot of it will recoup. As long as the terminal bud is not damaged, it will send out new leaves. You don't need to prune off the damage, it will take care of itself.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

barnhardt9999
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Good to hear. There is no damage to any of the stems as I'm sure the ground stayed above 55. Got everything covered up tonight's trip down to 35. After that I can look forward to 85 on Monday. This Monday was 75. These swings are killing me.

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klevelyn
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Location: Utah, USA

It been a strange spring. Hot one day, freezing the next. It won't hurt to wait. Its amazing how plants can survive and continue to grow. Defiantly keep an eye on the night time temps for the rest of the month. Good Luck
Eat healthy from your backyard garden

clutchrider
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klevelyn wrote:It been a strange spring. Hot one day, freezing the next. It won't hurt to wait. Its amazing how plants can survive and continue to grow. Defiantly keep an eye on the night time temps for the rest of the month. Good Luck
Tell me about it. Yesterday it was cloudy and 50's and we have had some good winds. Last night we had a good frost and today it is going to the high 60's then back to the low 30's and then 70's all next week. What a whacky Spring.

I still have all my stuff in the Jiffy pods and will move them this Saturday when I startup my herbs.

3 Pound Tomato
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If pumpkins, squash don't survive, I'd re-plant in raised beds around early May. They grow fast.

Timlin
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Location: Zone 3 Canada

If you have extra seed it couldn't hurt to pop a few new seeds into the garden and they will take off and replace any that are too damaged to recover well. You still have lots of time in the season to replant directly for the squash.

I'd transplant the tomato seedlings into larger pots and hope that if they are needed they are ready to go........you don't have time to restart those from seed (although mine have hardly gotten going much yet).

Frost is always such a worry in the early months. We'll have to watch until the end of May around here.

Good luck I hope it's not nearly the damage you worry about.

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