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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Covering Up

It's still summer for another 58 or so hours but we are facing our first chance of frost tonight. last night it went down into the low 40's which was enough to get Eugene and me to put row covers on the peppers, eggplant and the 3rd tomato planting. we thought about covering the green beans we are currently picking but decided the beans could easily weather a cool night. And they did.

We were hoping to be done with covering plants but the weather this morning predicted a low of 39˚F this morning and at noon they dropped that prediction to 38˚F. I figure by the 5 o'clock news they will be saying 35˚F and by morning we will see frost crystals on the lawn.

And so Eugene is, as I write this, putting hoophouses over the tomatoes and peppers and will put heavy covers over the beans.

Sometimes I think our penchant for season extension is on the crazy side. After a long hard season of growing crops maybe it is time to let the tender plants die and that in turn would let us take a bit of a break. But tomatoes and peppers are good income generators, especially when you are the only people at the farmers' market with them. Not to mention the fact we do a lot of fall crops such as arugula, lettuce, kale, brussle sprouts, leeks, potatoes, spinach, spring mix, carrots, turnips, radishes, parsnips, etc.. so killing off the tender crops does not relieve much of the work burden but will cut into the profits quite a bit.

And so we cover the crops with row covers and hoophouses and than we worry about whether of not they will survive. Such is the life of the small market grower in fall (or in this case late summer)

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