From Pipi’s Pasture: It happens every year |

From Pipi’s Pasture: It happens every year

From Pipi's Pasture

This year it happened a little earlier than usual, suddenly turning summer days into fall days. The weather suddenly took a turn, turning 90-degree days into 40-degree days, it snowed, and night temperatures dropped to freezing. No matter when it happens, it’s inevitable—our flowers and garden plants are subject to frost damage as the season changes. It’s hard to let go of them so we find ways to protect the fragile plants and produce.

We can’t bring all the plants indoors so that means some creative planning to cover everything. I remember some years back when our children and grandchildren lived in Craig. We all shared a big garden here at Pipi’s Pasture. In early fall, when frost was forecast, everybody—kids included– showed up to cover the garden. Daughter-in-law Brandi had purchased a bunch of plastic tarps at an auction so we dragged them all out of the storage shed and started covering pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, green beans, peas, and more in an effort to get a little more produce from the garden.

Because there’s so much wind out here, the covers had to be secured so they didn’t blow off. That meant packing different sizes of wood from piles along the fence, grabbing hoes, shovels, and rakes that were standing up by the gate, and even hunting up empty rubber feed and water pans at the corral—anything that could be used to secure the covers.

We also covered plants with emptied grain sacks, saved for just such a purpose, and old blankets and sheets from the house. The corral rubber feed and water pans and even weighted-down cardboard boxes were used to cover small plants.

It was a strange-looking garden, indeed. We left it covered for a couple of mornings, until the danger of frost passed in the daytime, but then afterward the family members came back at night to re-cover everything.

When the frost finally finished off the garden—it happens eventually—we had all of the covers and everything else to put away. Plastic covers had to be dried out and folded and carried back to the storage shed. Wood went back to the piles; rakes, hoes, and shovels were put in the shop (since they were no longer needed); blankets and sheets to the house; and pans and buckets back to the corral. It was a lot of work.

Our family members moved away, and the size of the garden has decreased, but this year I have been faithfully covering my flowers, green peppers, zucchini, and summer squash. I did not have enough covers for the pumpkin patch, but most of it survived.

It happens every year.

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