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So our "first frost" date is supposed to be Sept 22nd, which is uncomfortably close for my poor green tomatoes, but still nearly two weeks away.

But, there's a frost warning for tonight!
:

Now I'm panicking lol... I'm not ready, I haven't done the research yet as to what is at risk and what isn't, what I should do to protect things.

I have a bunch of raised bed boxes with:
- hundreds and hundreds of green tomatoes (that's 100's of fruits, not of plants heh) which are still sprouting new blossoms, even...
- a huge box of potatoes which are still only medium-sized tubers
- peppers which have only JUST started to fruit (wow, did they ever take forever, it was a very cold summer)
-onions which seem to be finished but are small
- some lettuce I was letting go to seed that is still in flowering stage
- spinach which is seeding but not quite ready to harvest the seeds yet
- rutabaga which are still only medium sized
- green beans which are still blossoming new flowers
- dayneutral strawberries still setting new flowers and fruit
- kidney beans which I think are ready to harvest, I haven't looked up yet when I need to pluck them
- cucumbers which are still pretty small
- lots of herbs which need to be harvested and dried
- dozens of mid-sized carrots

Basically, everything is still really small. I had a bit of a late start on a few things, and then the summer was just TERRIBLE, damp and cool and rainy, so everything is slow. I need to eke out every last growing day that I can.

What can I safely leave out in a frost risk, what should I cover and how (I don't have any special greenhouse box frames or the insulating plastic or even many extra BLANKETS lol...), what should I just cut my losses and bring it in tonight?

I just planted a fall crop of greens a week ago. Nothing coming up yet, I was hoping to get another run of romaine at least... Do they mind frost???

And when should I plant garlic for next year? I'm guessing since it's supposed to hibernate all winter anyway, I don't have to worry about 'beating' the frost?

I posted in another thread about my troubles with tomato septoria and blight, a couple plants in particular are quite badly off. With the frost adding into the equation, should I just pull those bad plants and ripen the tomatoes inside? (How do I do that when there's so many of them? Does it matter how large they are?)

Thanks for ANY help and suggestions!!! I put so much time and love (and money!) into this new garden this year, I've already had heartbreaks with the blight and the slow growth from the bad weather and cabbage worms totally decimating all my broccoli ... I don't know if I could stand frost damage!!
 

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I second the sheets - that is what I use in those situations. You also might want to invest in a roll of remay as soon as you can get some to keep things going a little longer. It will protect them a bit if it frosts, but let in sun and moisture and add a little warmth to the plants as the cooler weather sets in.

To help your tomatoes ripen (not by tomorrow lol, but before the season is truly over) get rid of those blossoming ends. The plants sometimes need a little encouragement to put their energy into ripening instead of making new fruit, since realistically, it is too late in the year for you to get ripe tomatoes from a blossom at this point, yk? As of about 2 weeks ago I only had ripe cherry tomatoes so I pruned back all my larger plants. I cut most branches back to the first actual fruit cluster. Within a week, I was getting much more ripe fruit! Now I have lots - yay!

I'm letting my cucs and beans keep blooming though (and a couple of peas that held on all season since it was so cool) because they may still produce a bit in time to harvest. Strawberries I'd leave too - at my former house we'd keep getting fruit until a good hard frost if they got a little protection (sadly I only have june bearing at this place but I'll fix that next year
). Root crops will be fine.

I'm sure others will have input but these are some of the things I do to extend the gardening season in this climate.
 
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