Friday, October 28, 2011

Connecticut's First Frost

Snow forecast for October 29!
If you haven't already had one, you probably are in for our first frost here in Connecticut!  The snow predictions are a little surprising, but now is the time to winterize your garden (literally, today is probably your day.)
The Tolland, CT Patch just posted this article "Fall is Time to Split" about how fall is the time to divide your plants.  The article, by Alice Blair, focuses on dividing hosta and heuchera (or coral bells).

There are many techniques to protect the crops you planted in August, September and early October for the coming frost.  Here is a pretty comprehensive list of options:

If you have planted your fall crops: remember back to our "Planning for the Fall and Winter Harvest Workshop" in September. 

If you were thinking about protecting your vegetable garden, now is the time! Shannon demonstrated how to create row covers, using metal or plastic frames and then using plastic or reemay to create a blanket for your plants.  
Our permaculture specialists, Cynthia and Stewart Rabinowitz at the Center for Sustainable Living in Bethlehem showed participants of the Permaculture Workshop all the ways that they insulate their plants from frost and snow through the winter. They used old sliding glass doors to create cold frames and had constructed green houses as well. This picture is of hay bales used to insulate the plants growing in the center of them, and then the plastic you can see to the right will be stretched over the hay bales as the weather gets colder.  

If you have some warm weather plants still in (like tomatoes) you should harvest them now! What to do with all of those warmer weather fall crops? There's always freezing, drying or canning
You can also extend the growing season inside your house! Sign up for our Indoor Flower and Food Gardening workshop to learn about making your living room your winter garden!

Happy First Frost everyone! If you want to see some of these winter planting techniques in action you can come by Common Ground High School at 358 Springside Avenue in New Haven tomorrow around noon.  There will be farm tours from 12:00 - 1:00 pm for CT NOFA's Annual (Celebration) Meeting!

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