Frost Tolerant Plants

Which are and which are not?  It’s an important question with a valuable answer.  One the kids learned this week.

Central Florida froze.  Unusual this time of year but certainly not unheard of, our temps dipped into freezing territory and despite our frost protection efforts, they killed our plants. 

The kids took it kinda hard. 

(A little dramatic, aren’t they?)  They’re passionate about their garden and hate to lose the first leaf.  Usually create a ceremony for such events.

These squash were hurting from fungus BEFORE the frost and truth be told, they probably didn’t stand a chance either way.

However, it’s worth taking note that not all plants dislike the cold.  Some actually prefer it, like broccoli, cabbage and spinach.  These plants don’t thrive in warm weather but they do in cold.  And look at these sweet creatures.  

Our strawberries managed to tolerate the frigid mornings. 

So take heart kids — while our tomatoes suffered a horrible blow all the more horrid because they were SO beautiful and lush — a significant feat when it comes to the garden), we still have a ton of plants to look forward to harvesting, like carrots and onions and sweet peas, to boot!

On another bright note, we clipped our basil before the freeze and dried the leaves in the oven.  Simply put them on a baking sheet and set the oven to low and bake for a few hours (or until dry and crispy).  Voila

Pizza, anyone?  Pasta?  This dried basil of ours rivals any store-bought kind and…as these savvy students were quick to point out–costs a lot less!

So while our lesson today was the identification of frost tolerant vegetation, we learned about drying herbs, too. 

Next week?  Crop rotation.  We’ll pull out the old and prepare for the new — with a very specific order in mind.  You see, an integral part of organic gardening is crop rotation.  And similar to knowing which plants make friendly companions in the garden while growing, crop rotation involves knowing which plants like to be where which plants used to be.  Confused?

You won’t be next week!  Until then, gardeners… 

It’s just another day in the life of the garden.

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