Sunday, December 6, 2009


There were plenty of intimations of frost before I went out to the garden this morning for the daily inspection. It was a genuinely cold night with chilly tendrils of air creeping in under the blankets. We leave the heat off at night and it was a relief to turn it on right away after getting up and to linger a bit by the heater. The first cup of coffee was a mini-spa, as the steam warmed my face.

In the garden only the nasturtiums and the basil showed noticeable effects. The basil was brown and blasted -- season definitely over without any quibbling about it. The nasturtiums were still green but completely wilted. The sungold tomatoes were still standing tall above the overhead trellis, but looking more bedraggled than yesterday.

Frost factoids: The water inside the plant cells turns to ice crystals and pierces the cell walls, killing them. Hardy plants must have some kind of defense against this.

In this area, average first frost is late November, so we are actually pretty much on schedule. For the record: In 2009, first noticeable effects of frost occurred on December 6.

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