Looking a little eerie in the garden as the sun came up this morning. Low temperature last night was supposed to be 40 degrees, and knowing how much tender plants like tomatoes and peppers dislike anything less than that, I picked what was ripe or mostly ripe and covered the rest in old sheets and blankets just in case.
When I rose, before dawn, the thermometer on the back deck read 34 degrees. I'm really glad I took the time (working until after dark) to cover the tomato plants that were still loaded with large green tomatoes. I had all ready picked any that were red, orange, or yellow, and that came out to about two and a half bushel. Not wanting to have to store the green ones too, and banking on the fact that we shouldn't have very many nights under forty for the next several weeks, I choose to cover the most productive 'mater plants.
I did find one small patch of frost this morning. Not in the garden. But a patch of frost all the same.
About a bushel of the tomatoes are ripe enough to process now. The remainder will need another week or so in order to be useful.
I have canned enough hot peppers and jalapenos to last us quite a while, being as DH is the only one here who likes them. I think I will take most of what I picked yesterday to the farmers market on Thursday and see if I can sell them.
The bell peppers and paprikas, I'll keep for use at this little place here.
I was really hoping to be able to leave the paprikas on the plants until they all turned red (most of them are still in the yellow stage), but apparently it just wasn't to be this year. Since this is the first time I've grown them (trying to make my own paprika powder here), I'm hoping that they will turn red even though they are no longer on the plant. Otherwise I'll have to come up with some recipes for hot paprikas, since apparently the yellow stage is the hottest and the red ripe stage is the sweetest.
Oh, and the green beans don't like cold temperature either. But, seeing as we have a year's supply all ready canned up and in the cellar, I just picked all that was ripe yesterday (another bushel!) and left the plants uncovered. If they make it, I'll pick more beans. If they don't make it, I won't cry or feel bad.