Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Squash survived in a Cold frame at 27 Degrees Farenheit

The last few nights have been brutal for my "early garden." I have squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes alive in a cold frame and the last 3 nights in a row have had sustained temperatures in the 20's!

Last night, it was 27 degrees for over 6 hours. Holy cold! None of these tender plants appreciate the cold. Luckily, the are tucked inside this:
Growing in milk cartons in greenhouse
You can see a layer of bricks around the inside perimeter (to hold heat - the bricks are on the other side too) and milk cartons inside. The milk cartons act as both a container and a mini greenhouse.

Once my plants germinated, I took the milk tops off, but I put them back on for the last few cold nights. Last night, I also put a lit tea light candle inside the greenhouse and wrapped the entire thing in the old greenhouse plastic.
tomatoes in greenhouse

Everybody inside the greenhouse survived! Growth has definitely slowed with this week + of cold weather, but they are still alive.

Unfortunately, almost all of my outdoor buckwheat, and the newest bok choy transplants died. These were my "thinnings." I should have selected a warmer time to transplant them, but that's how we learn I guess.

Also.... the one potato that had popped through the soil turned black and gushy. I covered it with mulch and soil, but I guess the cold was just too much. I am hopeful that other eyes on the potato (and the other potatoes!) will still grow and fill the boxes.

One Fava bean has erupted, the leeks are surviving, and the grocery store onions are growing like wild. The rhubarb transplants have all been hanging on and one more sunflower was eaten. I guess it just isn't safe to transplant sunflowers until they are big enough to survive hungry animals....


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