Getting an unexpected frost can be a sad thing if you have tomatoes out in the garden. Sometimes trying to cover them up just doesn’t work.
So what do you do when life hands you frosted tomatoes?
Know Your Zone
Do you know what USDA plant hardiness zone you live in? It gives you an idea of the kinds of plants you can easily (at least relatively easy) grow. If you don’t know, check out this interactive USDA zone map.
Alas, even when you know your zone (example, I am in 10a), you can still get unexpected frosts and freezes, which can wreak havoc on your tomato plants! Unfortunately, I got a freeze last week and totally lost 3 of the plants. Three pretty much survived and one is iffy.
So what happens when you have a freeze, your plants die but you still have green tomatoes on them? My favorite recipe is green tomato pie — very yummy.
Unfortunately, I don’t have enough green tomatoes to make that pie. But fortunately, the three plants that did survive all have some tomatoes. Not sure why they survived when the others didn’t, but I am grateful.
Fortunately the weather has warmed up and I seriously doubt we will be getting another frost/freeze this winter. I have some seedlings that went out in the garden yesterday — they were getting awfully big on the windowsill. And I still have more that I am hardening off — including the three plants for The Great Tomato Experiment.
Maybe the moral of this story is to have “back-up” plants if you get an unexpected freeze after you’ve put your tomato plants out in the garden. Seedlings that you started a couple weeks later, maybe. That way if the worst happens and you lose most of your crop, then at least you’ll have a few to restart.