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.