First Frost

I awoke this morning to stillness, cold air and the first frost of the season.

early morning November Moon
early morning Waning Gibbous Moon

Observing when the frost happens in your garden is an important thing to note in a gardening journal, so that you can be reminded next year and build your knowledge of what is specific to your region. Depending on what source you are consulting, Santa Rosa’s first frost date is either  November 3, November 5, or November 21. Knowing your frost dates are important, because, hypothetically, you base your seed plantings either some designated weeks before (for first Fall frost) or weeks after (for last Spring frost).

frosty cabbage
frosty cabbage

However, published frost dates are more “guidelines than rules”. I seeded beets, greens and a variety of other veggies later than recommended, hoping that frost would come later than the expected early November dates.

frozen birdbath
bird bath better suited for skating than bathing

This first frost was cold enough to freeze our bird bath solid, leave an ice sheen on the neighbors roof and my picnic table. I had some pillows drying on the clothesline and they were certainly crunchy. Itty bitty ice crystals gathered on the leaves of the veggies and cover crops.

frosty cover crops
frosty cover crops

This frost wasn’t hard enough to do any damage to the citrus, the cover crops or my newly sprouted arugula, kale and peas. As soon as the sun came up everything perked back up like there was no change. But I’m going to be checking the weather regularly from now on, more frost means covering the citrus and the more tender veggies.

This weather has been strange lately. A few days ago, we had crazy wind storms that brought trees down, caused the power to go out, and stripped deciduous trees of any leaves. Yesterday is was unusually warm in the early mornings, and today we had our frost.

persimmons hang like ornaments
persimmons hang like ornaments

Have you had frost yet where you’re at?


3 thoughts on “First Frost

  1. Have you seen the predicted lows for later this week? 24 on Thursday night! Eek! I still have a few things to weather proof, so hopefully I can motivate to get it done before things totally freeze…. guess winter is officially here (hard to believe when it was like 70 degrees today…)!

  2. Love your photos, Melissa. We didn’t get our hard freeze until the wobbly arctic came down for a few days to the Gulf Coast. Already back to temps in the 70’s.

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