Expecting Frost: saying farewell to Garden ’14


Today is sunny, windy and chilly.  The forecast today for the high temp is 52 degrees.  Presently, it’s 50 degrees.  High wind warnings are in effect for daytime hours and a light frost is expected for Litchfield County in the early hours of Monday morning.

I feel loathe to accept the cold and frost which marks the beginning of Heating Season and the end of Growing & Harvest Season.

I ordered 100 gals of heating oil which won’t be delivered until Tuesday morning.  The oil in my tank is so low I’m going to have to do without heat until that load of oil is delivered.

The day I ordered the oil the Five-Day reported that tomorrow the low temp was expected to be 35; the frost warning was added this morning.  The day I ordered the oil was on a day that was unseasonably warm and I was wearing sandals.  After I made the call,  I commended myself for ‘ordering ahead’ and for being ‘well-prepared.’



Last of the Tomatoes

I’ve picked the last of the tomatoes and broke down the parent vines.  Some of these tomatoes are almost full grown; there are many the size of large and small marbles.

I have no idea what to do with all these green tomatoes.  I’m waiting for Inspiration!

I have friends all over town who are eating the green tomatoes I gave them last week.  I wonder if they’re as tired of fried green tomatoes as I am.

The parent vines are now in the process of turning into compost.  In my heart I thanked each and every one for their service and for giving me such a bountiful and tasty crop.


Mexican Sunflowers

Up until May ’14, I’d never heard of Mexican Sunflowers.  I bought the seed package because the flowers were so brilliant.  I was looking for a flower that would draw bees and  I wasn’t disappointed; the bees were all over these flowers for the past 3 months.  I was also hoping the brilliant red flowers might draw humming birds but I didn’t see any, to my disappointment.

I’ve picked a few large bouquets of these flowers to enjoy inside and to spare them from Frost.



For the past ten days I’ve been cutting back the canes that have no more berries on them as I pick from the canes that are still producing.  I estimate that by now, I’ve clipped 2/3rds of the total patch.  There’s probably 35 or so berries left to ripen.  I hope the Frost doesn’t kill them.


Pumpkins, my bonus crop

These tiny pumpkins are the offspring of last year’s jack ‘o’ lanterns.  By the time I went to buy my jack ‘o’ lantern pumpkin last year there were only 2 pumpkins left and those tiny eating pumpkins, better suited for soup or pie than a jack ‘o’ lantern.  So, I had 2 tiny jack ‘o’ lanterns.  The ‘innards’ all went into the compost and 2 of the seeds from those pumpkins turned into vines this spring and produced more pumpkins for this season.  The first vine produced 2 pumpkins and then died.  The 2 pictured are from the 2nd vine, which is still producing flowers.  For today, anyhow….

Putting a garden away for the winter is a bitter-sweet occasion, with a longing for the warm and sunny days that have been and a dread of the cold and dark days ahead.  Looking forward to the next garden is hopeful and sweet, even though we’ve yet to have our first frost and then our first killing frost and so much winter to get through.

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8 Responses to Expecting Frost: saying farewell to Garden ’14

  1. ” and so much winter to get through”…that alone says a lot! This is a bittersweet time, and also a time of trepidation, preparing for what’s ahead.
    Do you remember the old recipe for strawberry-rhubarb jam that used real rhubarb with strawberry jello? Well, my Aunt Margaret used a similar technique to make a delicious mock raspberry jam using green tomatoes and raspberry-flavored jello. I don’t know any of the details, but remember that it was very good tasting.
    Good luck!

  2. beetleypete says:

    I like those Mexican sunflowers Gretchen, I have never seen them before.
    We stocked up on oil at the end of September, and now have an (almost) full tank for the coming winter. It is a 1200 litre tank, so 240 UK gallons. We still have most of the logs from last year too, so will be able to use the wood burner.
    I was secretly hoping for a mild winter, but all the weather pundits over here are predicting a bad one. I can only hope that they have got it wrong.
    Best wishes from England, Pete.

  3. Kathy says:

    It is a bittersweet time when we put away the garden, Gretchen. And start that long Heating Season. We still have three things in the garden: kale, cilantro and bunching onions. They have survived two ground frosts. It’s been a rather mild fall here.

  4. Litchfield County – I looked it up. So you are in Connettycut by Massershoosets. Leave next Saturday for 12 day recon trip to Greensboro NC to look for house. That’ll be a big change in climate from South Florida.

  5. I live in western CT about 20 mins from the Mass border and except for mid-Dec to mid-Feb, I enjoy the climate here. I don’t like cold but then again, I don’t like it too hot, either. I’d move to NC if I wasn’t so broke because the weather climate there is pretty well balanced for my liking. Moving to NC from south Florida will be a big change for you, I think. Good luck on your 12 day trip!

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