View Full Version : Freeze coming, what can I do?

April 4th, 2007, 07:35 AM
Well, I put in two square foot garden sections. I got peas, half of which have sprouted, kale, radishes, beets, turnips and lettuces planted. These were all planted 1 and 2 weeks ago. Now, were going from the 70's to daytime temps in 40's and lows ranging from 20 to 28 starting tonight and going through next Tuesday at least. Do I need to cover my beds??? What would you all recommend? I'm in the mountains of north carolina in zone 6.
Thanks so much,

April 4th, 2007, 08:15 AM
During the day they should be fine especially the cold loving plants. However at night is a different story. I for one am expecting the same weather (zone6) but I don't have anything in the ground yet. I would get a plastic tarp of some kind or even a bed sheet and if I had too stick a tall stick right in the center of everything and just hang the sheet over everything (like a tent) just at night. But get some rocks or something to hold it down to the ground in case there are winds. You want to keep as much heat in, and the frost and cold out. Just my 2 cents worth.

April 4th, 2007, 11:48 AM
i am not sure about the peas and beets, but the lettuces, kale, and radishes do not mind a little frost

April 4th, 2007, 07:05 PM
Thanks for the ideas. I put some plastic water jugs with the bottoms cut out that I was saving for when I plant the eggplants over my peas. Hopefully that will keep them warm enough. Iknowthey don't might a light freeze; but the 20 degrees has me worried.

strong eagle
April 4th, 2007, 08:58 PM
They are talking 17 degs for us in the mid Ozarks, friday nite. With all the prior way above normal temperatures we've had, my peas are about a foot high, but will not survive that cold because the cell structure is too soft. I'm taking half rotted straw and biulding up tents of it over the rows.Single sheets of plastic will freeze anything under it but a double layer will help keep the freeze away from seedlings by freezing ice between and becoming sort of an "Igloo" Found an old pile of burlap bags and put them to use over the cabbages. We'll see! Strong

April 5th, 2007, 12:03 AM
your absolutely right about the single layer plastic, strong eagle. the burlap and straw should work.... cloth, throw rugs, tarps, corrugated cardboard, straw, pineneedles, leaves, good luck guy. there is a big strong high pressure area behind this front and we are basking in the sun just a few days after freezing temps. :cool:

strong eagle
April 5th, 2007, 07:15 AM
Just came in from checking on how well I did,yesterday, on my fortifications on the coldsnap. luckily [?] it dropped to only 30 degs last night, but the really dangerous cold is still on it's way! Now it 17 degs for Friday night! Goodby to any hickory nuts, acorns or walnuts this year, and subsequent damage to the deer, turkey and squirrel populations this next winter. As for the gardens; "Double" tarping over some areas worked like a charm, but a hint for for those still preparing for the big chill. The tarps I picked up for free at the lumber yards works a lot better than plastic sheeting. They are large, sometimes 12 by 18 foot, made with fiberglass, semi solar resitant so they last for years, and some of them have a moisture resistant paper side to them that acts as a great insulater. Those last ones worked the best! Doubled up over the areas, the ground under them felt warm. I also snipped up all the wiring the electric co. left me when they put the lines underground to the house, into 3 foot sections and bowed them up under the tarps to keep the weight off the plants.Strong

April 5th, 2007, 09:18 AM
Its suppose to drop to 25 here at my house north of atlanta on saturday, last week we had a record high and this week they are predicting a record low, go figure...i have alot of tender stuff that has come up, my fig tree already has figs, my blueberries are covered in flowers and little blueberries, my banana trees are up, my asian ginger is up, and some other guys are up. i am going to have find some old tarps and blankets to cover alot of stuff. my coworkers were giving a hard time because some of them already have their tomatos planted i told them they were crazy to be puttin that kinda stuff out, i hate it that i am right about it getting cold again. it would not be so bad if it was not in 80s for almost two weeks straight. rick

April 5th, 2007, 05:46 PM
Thanks for all the ideas you guys! Looks likes everything that's sprouted survived last night. It got down to 25. But now they're predicting a low of 18 on Saturday night! BRRRR!!! I got the one gallon plastic jugs over the peas and 1 of the 2 kale (an experiment). All the stuff I left uncovered - kale, and radishes and what looks like 2 volunteer sunflower sprouts look unscathed. I laid down a couple layers of this plastic fence stuff I got this afternoon. Laid it on top of the plastic jugs as well. When they paved our road they left this stuff, I think it's called silk fence or similar, along with all the posts. We managed to get a few posts for ourselves before some fella with a pickup came by and had a bunch of kids digging up the posts. And we rolled up the fence material which they weren't interested in, works good for keeping some critters out of places.

April 5th, 2007, 07:47 PM
Well, I'm in McDowell County, NC foothills at 1600' in elevation and jumped the gun with the warm spell a couple of weeks ago and now have corn, beans, squash, okra and cucumbers a few inches tall. It got down to about 35 here last night, no problem but the next 3 mornings are to successively cooler they say.

So, I just came in from transporting numerous 30 gallon barrels of weathered leaves from the nearby woods and basically covered all the at risk rows to about 4" deep with leaves and soaked with water to keep the leaves from blowing away. I'll likely do it again tomorrow evening.

BTW, its treacherously dry compared to normal here.

I'm not the least bit worried about the cabbage, peas, lettuce, onions or spinach. The sunflowers are on their own.

Will it help? We will see by Sunday noon.

strong eagle
April 5th, 2007, 08:35 PM
my nephew just called this evening, from near Dallas, so i could hear the crop dusters going over his place. crops up that high and he said they were calling for frost there! Strong

April 5th, 2007, 09:46 PM
We were 59 here today after them predicting 43. But afraid by Sunday morning we will get it. They are saying low to mid 20's Sunday morning. The only thing I have in the ground are onions so they should be ok. All my plants are still in the utility room under the lights. Had planned to move some to the garage and start hardening off but that will be on hold for a few days. Know my fruit trees will be done for the year. Wish everyone the best. Jay

April 6th, 2007, 06:48 AM
It got down to about 31 here this morning with some light frost. They are saying about 20 degrees by Sunday morning.

April 6th, 2007, 08:25 AM
Hillside we were 30 but still saying 21 to 25 Sunday depending on which one you look at. Afraid it will get many of the earlybirds. I know a few contacted me about planting out and I told them here in KS I would wait. But they planted anyway. Hate it I may of been right. I've learned about over 40 years the hard way myself. Jay

April 6th, 2007, 08:43 AM
but there are plenty of seeds in the packets and after this freeze will actually be the second time I've restarted this year! the first time was I planted my radishes and peas in early March and the neighbors golden retriever was wondering what I did with all that digging, so he decided to dig it all up to inspect it! LOL! Just have to keep my sense of humor about it all. when I lived in Michigan I always planted my peas by St. Pat's Day and usually no problems. Frosts but not real deep freezes. I'm ready with my little seed packet to put em all in again as soon as it warms up! I want some peas before it gets too hot for them to grow.

April 6th, 2007, 01:06 PM
In the Atlanta area we will only be concerned with the possibility of a light frost( I think) I have been told you could use your sprinklers to keep the frost off. Does anyone have any actual experience with this? I got foot tall tomatoes, 6" corn, and beans and peas just breaking the ground. I would really hate to lose them.

April 6th, 2007, 01:33 PM
In the Atlanta area we will only be concerned with the possibility of a light frost( I think) I have been told you could use your sprinklers to keep the frost off. Does anyone have any actual experience with this? I got foot tall tomatoes, 6" corn, and beans and peas just breaking the ground. I would really hate to lose them.

I just read on a market farming listserve how to do sprinklers. turn them on and keep them running until the ice thaws off of the plants. Do not stop the water while it can still freeze or the plants will freeze.

You might do better putting a jug of water by each tomato plant and putting a sheet or heavy row cover over top of the plants. For the corn and beans put wire hoops up to support the fabric. The peas should be fine as long as it stays above 29˚F.

strong eagle
April 6th, 2007, 01:49 PM
I just used up all my un-finished compost, mainly rotted straw, to biuld TeePees against the 1 foot tall pea vines. Here in the Ozarks we get just one shot at planting those veggys, otherwise it get's too hot too quick if you plant too late. revised forcast is 18 degs tomorrow night, and that's way too low for them. By the way, it snowed all the time I was haulling the compost, but not sticking. Strong

April 6th, 2007, 04:32 PM
Yep Strong,
That's how it is here too. Seems to jump from winter to summer without any coolish temps in between. I've never had any luck with those spring lettuces; but can usually get a good batch of peas. I went in the woods and fetched a whole lot of pine needles: about 20 - 5 gallon buckets full (took two buckets with me, I needed the exercise.) I left the gallon water jugs on the peas, layed the plastic fencing in two layers on top of that and on top of the unsprouted bed. Then piled on the pine needles about 6 inches deep. They've lowered the tonight's predicted low to 20 and tomorrow's to 17. Do you think I need to push away the needles and plastic during the day so the peas get light??? or if they survive the freeze will it be o.k. to be in the dark for the next three days???

April 7th, 2007, 06:38 AM
Its going to be interesting to see if the corn and beans I covered with leaves survive the 23 degrees this morning, NC foothills.

April 7th, 2007, 07:00 AM
Its cold here..but only light frost this morning...
we covered the cherry trees and had a burn barrel going by them all n ight...
hot house is warm with extra heat and lamps...
we got some warmth yesterday with the sun comming out part of the afternoon....hope it does the same today...
wel its off to work....