October Polar Plunge is Over … for Now

Mid-Late October Punch List
No Surpise in October - Winter Preview Soon. Are you Covered?

“Where’s my long underwear … now!” I replied in the middle of the night and early this morning. We made Colorado weather history the past forty-eight hours. I won’t recite the number extremes – all I know is that I was wearing shorts and full spectrum sunscreen until 5:00 pm on Wednesday, October 9 and this morning, October 11 I couldn’t get out of bed because the room was too cold. Okay, the weather guy said it was 9 degrees outside. “Wow,” says everyone.

How will our landscape plants fair after this weather event? Your answer is as good as mine. For the most part we’ll have to wait and see – especially for recent fall planted trees and shrubs. To lose fall planted perennials isn’t pleasant, but if they were on the garden center sale rack, then consider the loss minimal based on the weather cards we were just dealt.

The obvious spring-summer planted annuals are dried, dead toast and ready for the compost pile. Same for seasonal warm-season vegetables like tomatoes and peppers (if diseased or buggy, toss in the garbage). Hardy, well established cool-season crops may have come through fine with heavy mulch or use of cold frames. If you covered iffy plants well and they made it through the cold – way to go. 

I’ve called the outdoor gardening season over … lights out, time to move onto indoor amaryllis, paperwhites and several post season naps. There are plenty of harvested blush colored tomatoes in the basement that should provide a couple of weeks of sandwich layers and fresh taste for homemade red sauces. Hopefully you have some preserved homegrown fruits/vegetables as well.

As of this writing (Friday evening) click on the links below for pertinent after the polar plunge information. 

Frozen IV: The Aftermath of November 2014 Cold Snap Colorado State University Horticulture Agents and Specialists Blog – CO-Horts

Vegetable Growers News Michigan 2019

Denver Records Largest October Temperature Drop on Record The Denver Post 

Denver Weather: Cold Front Breaks not one but two Record Lows Overnight The Denver Post

Ornamental Container October 9, 2019 80 degrees
Ornamental Container October 10, 2019 twenty degrees and falling

Mid-Late October Punch List
No Surpise in October - Winter Preview Soon. Are you Covered?
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