If you haven't already got your winter squash safely gathered in, do it this weekend. When we do get a frost, it could be a hard one, with it being so late in the year, and could damage uncollected squash. If you have a greenhouse or conservatory to finish ripening them in, all the better.
Yes, you can, if they are heritage varieties rather than modern hybrid varieties. Click here to go to our page on tomatoes with more info.
Blustery weather exposes the weaknesses of cheap polytunnels and may redistribute the ownership of lightweight equipment like garden bags and polythene. Make sure any weed-suppression fabric or polythene is well-weighted-down. Cheap polytunnels and lightweight cold frames may need extra anchoring; the kind of spiral pegs used by fishermen and campers are good.
Anyone who was out and about early on Sunday will realise we have had the first frost. This was an evaporation frost, usually known as a 'ground frost' or, as the weather forecasters are increasingly saying, a 'grass frost', and it didn't kill even tender things like courgettes. Crops under cover in polytunnels and greenhouses will be unharmed.
However, it was a bit of a shock to the system after the summery weather we've been enjoying. Once night temperatures fall below 5degC most plants accpet that winter is one the way and a range of physiological changes take place, most obvious of which is that many more tender plants just stop growing. Others, such as carrots, cabbages and so on, are adapted to cold conditions and will carry on growing happily. Plants start to turn their starch food stores to cold-resistant sugars, which is why sprouts and parsnips only start to taste nice after a frost or two.
For more detailed info about and how it affects your gardening click here.
Kent's climate is drier, hotter and has a longer growing season than the average for the UK. Advice in gardening books may not fit Kent. This blog has local tips on what will grow and when to do garden jobs.
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