The usual freeze date in our neck of the woods is somewhere around October 8th, so I was feeling pretty lucky when we were still picking large bowls of tomatoes and peppers for almost 3 full weeks past then. We'd had a couple mild freezes before now, but gentle breezes and sheets managed to keep things alive.
This week, though, we had temperatures dip low several nights in a row, and even coverings couldn't save our plants. By Friday, everything was wilted and dying, and I bought a big pile of lawn bags to gather the carnage.
To give you an idea of what we plant, here's a picture of me standing in the middle (12 plants of different varieties) of one of our tomato beds in June.
For reference, I stand about 6'6", while our headless "scarecrow" clocks in at about 5"8" or so. If you've been reading my blog for any time at all, you know that we're kinda crazy about gardening and canning food, and the extended growing season gave us a couple more small harvests to work with.
Here's the one big tomato bed (8x8 feet) after I pulled out all the dead plants this weekend. Standing solitary is our stylish scarecrow, which we affectionately call "Patrick" (after Patrick Batemen, of American Psycho), wearing his faded blue oxford (which was shredded and plundered in one place by a squirrel building a nest) and also-faded poly-blend pants.
The official end of summer has also brought me to my actual favorite season in terms of my wardrobe. I'll miss the fresh tomatoes and other produce that we've enjoyed for the past 5 months, but we have quite quite a few jars of sauce saved away in the basement and I'm excited to finally break out the tweeds and woolens.
I just hope this winter isn't as brutal as last.