Frosty Times

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Frosty times have arrived in Flagstaff. The forecast says that most evenings will dip to or just below freezing, so it’s time to talk about what to do in your garden (and how to save those last veggies and tomatoes in your fall harvest).

First off – the frosts of fall are not as threatening to your garden as those unexpected freezes we get in the spring. Your perennials and shrubs won’t be devastated – this is part of the natural ebb and flow of the seasons for perennials, so most likely the frosts will just put them “to sleep” for the winter a little sooner.

You do want to ensure that your plants are well watered prior to a frost to protect them.

As far as veggie gardens go, you can protect plants with frost cloth when the temps get down to the 30s, but if you are trying to harvest, now’s the time to get those last tomatoes and green peppers indoors and let them ripen in the cozy warmth of your home.

A few tips on ripening veggies inside.

  • Pick any full-size peppers or tomatoes that are green
  • Pick an area of your home that’s a bit dark (a laundry room, an insulated garage or even your kitchen as long as you remember to keep your veggies covered).
  • Make sure your veggies are a couple of inches apart. Why? Because if any of them ripens too quickly and begins to rot, it’ll spread to the other veggies.
  • Cover with newspaper.
  • Check on them frequently as they will ripen quickly.
  • Enjoy when fully ripened!

Other miscellaneous things to do as the weather gets colder: Deadhead your spent perennials and collect the seeds. Apply mulch, which will help insulate plants in the colder weather. And get into the habit of unhooking your hoses from spigots at night so your pipes don’t freeze. You may need to drain your hoses after use as well.

Hope you are enjoying this beautiful fall and the cooler temps!

Happy gardening,