To Cover or Not to Cover

Fall Fo4 GardenOne of our local TV stations is predicting our first frost of the fall this weekend. (Low of 31 for Sunday night.) The other stations are predicting 34 degrees and 36 degrees as lows for the weekend. Accuweather.com is predicting 38 degrees for the weekend low. Trying to figure out how cold it is actually going to get is more problematic than deciding what to do!

We have been getting a few calls on covering plants, and my opinion is this:

If you have some summer vegetables (peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, etc.) that you are just desperate to save, go ahead and cover them. They aren’t really going to produce much when the overall temperatures are chilly, but save them if you must. Otherwise, let nature take its course and put the plants in the compost pile after they have been killed by the frost!

If you have some cool season vegetables planted (lettuces, spinach, radishes, beets, carrots, broccoli), you can cover them, but it is totally unnecessary! They will keep right on growing after the temperatures are back above freezing. If there is anything in the garden that I really want to cover and keep going, I’ll probably do it when the first low of 28 degrees or colder is predicted.

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on October 8, 2009, in Around the Garden and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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