The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Quick and dirty frost protection

Frost protection supports

Fall weather is so variable that if you dodge the first frost, you can sometimes enjoy summer garden bounty all the way until Thanksgiving or later.  In my most recent 99 cent ebook, I explain how to make quick hoops for under $50, but in many cases, something quicker and cheaper is called for.  That's why I loved Mom's frost protection method, shown here.

Blanket over garden

The idea is to drape a blanket over your plants without crushing them.  She set up some five gallon buckets and boards to make a frame over her summer squash, tomato cages did the job on the other end of the garden bed, and the porch railing made a support elsewhere.  Add a blanket and get instant protection from light frosts.

Garden frost protection

Green tomatoOf course, with a system like this, you'll need to wait to put the blanket in place until dusk and then take it off the next morning since light won't pass through.  I think Mom didn't mind the extra work, though, to keep enjoying tasty squash and tomatoes.

Yellow squash

Thanks for the photos and idea, Mom!

This post is part of our Tips from the Urban Homestead lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I'll be using some blankets tonight since we are expecting our first frost. Thanks for the tip.
Comment by Kevin Fri Oct 21 08:58:01 2011
We're due for what may be our first serious frost tonight too. (The other two were light and spotty and didn't seem to hurt much except the basil and peppers.) So we've been picking all of the tomatoes with color on them and green beans again --- sure is nice to get such an extended harvest! I hope your frost protection gives you a similar few weeks extra.
Comment by anna Fri Oct 21 13:24:50 2011

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