Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Adopt a Crop: First frost

Of course, the first frost of the year showed up *just* as I was tuning out of the news (and subsequent weather forecasts) due to slowly creeping sadness caused by recounts of Wal-Mart tramplings and the cries of desperate holiday retailers.

So, when I got back from my run this morning and, upon noticing the red hue of my hand skin, walked out to the back .40 to check on my winter crops, I found the Secret Frost.

The nasturtium are not long for this world.

And then I noticed that the Supah Technical Anti-Frost Fabric (aka weedblock) was still rolled up neatly next to the beds where it would be ALL READY to protect the wee young plants from biting frost.

I guess the vegetables are too good to cover themselves. Ingrates.


Thankfully, it looks like the new sprouts will be OK because either the frost wasn't hard enough or they are Supah Technical Tough as Nails plants.

Either way though, I'm covering them tonight and beginning Frost Watch 08-09 so that I don't lose any precious arugula or fava beans.

What frost doesn't kill me, makes me stronger. - Fava Beans

We are small but mighty. - Rocket (arugula)

So, as far as the update goes - the chosen Arugula/Rocket has germinated nicely and I even thinned it last weekend when I needed a spicy addition to a regular old boring salad I was making. Which is a miracle in itself because I typically suck at thinning seedlings and get all, "Oh, but they all look so healthy and happy, how can I kill them?" except this time I needed salad, so I felt less sad and more hungry.

This is a good approach, I've found and keeps me from being a whiny mother hen when it comes to thinning time.

With the favas though, there wasn't any thinning. The seeds are big enough, and my faith in their germination is strong enough (thank you neighbors for always planting the most impressive and easy to grow fava beans as an example) that I only planted the exact number of seeds to give me the exact number of plants for which I had space so that I didn't have to do any thinning.

Plus, fava bean seedlings on salad? Prolly not really good.

To celebrate the First Frost, the dog and I played Frosty Fetch. It involves sliding across a frosty lawn to catch a frozen tennis ball. It is very technical and might have awakened the shitty neighbors.

Notice how I don't care.

Mom, this ball is hard as a rock. You may have it back now.

And now please throw it again.
I forgot how much I love the taste of frozen tennis ball in the morning.


  1. Thank goodness for Supah Technical Tough as Nails plants!
    Do you think they might sell Supah Technical Will Survive Lady with Brown Thumbs plants anywhere?
    I might google that, because I want to try my hand at some of my own home grown veges, and my thumbs are brownish...just ask some of the plants that used to reside here!

  2. Bah. Covering plants gets real old, real fast. I have no patience for it. Of course, by the time we get our frost, I'm usually pretty sick of all the garden stuff and more than willing to let Mother Nature decide when I should give up. Either that, or I'm incredibly lazy.

    Probably the second one.

  3. Hello Finny!!
    I don't know whether you know or not but here in Australia when the beans get tall (so you can still get the beans on them), some of us pinch out the top new shoots of the plants and eat them... I like them raw in salads but you can also stir fry and sweat off like spinach.. VERY VERY yummoooo!!!
    I also have one patch of plants that I just use for this purpose so I can have a never ending supply...
    Lea-Anne Adelaide Australia

  4. I was just going to mention what Anonymous was talking about - pinching out the tops of the stalks of pea plants and adding them to your salads. I see it mentioned in a bunch of gourmet stuff these days. Not sure if fava bean tops would also work - worth a shot!

    Cute pics of Jada - is her fur normally that short or do you get her trimmed?

    And I'm surprised your nasturtiums survived that much frost even. They always seem to melt into slimey goo whenever they get frosted very much around here.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

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Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.