Pollinator Paradise Leafcutting
bees & alfalfa The
Solitary Bee Web
Binderboard™ New Mexico Native Bee Pollinator Project Nampa Farmer's Market About Dr. Strickler
really been blessed to not have a frost yet this season, though we came rather
close earlier this week. Apparently
the average frost date for Parma is Sept. 25.
So, we are over a week behind schedule.
rather amazing, when you think about it, that frosts occur at such a discrete
temperature. It's not a gradual
thing. If the plant temperature
drops to 33°F, it looks just fine the next day.
If it drops below 32°F, it turns brown and dies.
Such a tiny difference in temperature makes all the difference to the
plant's survival, at least for the warm weather plants like tomatoes, squash,
eggplants, cucumbers, melons and peppers.
insect species also disappear with first frost, or at least with the first hard
frost that penetrates into the soil surface.
Those pesky yellowjackets, for example - a good frost kills this year's
workers and males. Next year's
queens, however, survive. They are
mated by now, and searching for a place to spend the winter. The same is true
for bumblebees. The pollinating digger bees and other solitary bees are also
killed by a hard frost; but they are survived in their nests in the ground or in
twigs by larvae or adults that are next season's pollinators.
only does frost end the garden season, but this is the time of year that the
irrigation canals are drained. For
many growers, that is the end of the season, since they can't get more water on
the fields until spring. This year
Black Canyon Irrigation District water is supposed to end Oct. 10-15. Most of
our garden can be irrigated with well water, however, if we need it.
point is, this is probably the last week to buy fresh tomatoes, cucumbers,
eggplants, melons, summer squash, etc. at the Farmer's market. Supplies, if they
exist, will be tight for the rest of the market, which continues to the end of
October. Some of our vendors have
already stopped coming for the season. So,
if you've been postponing buying squash for zucchini bread, or making that big
pot of homemade spaghetti sauce, better get out to the market this weekend, and
lettuce, spinach, broccoli, carrots, beets, perennial herbs will continue to
grow, though somewhat slower as the temperature and day length decrease.
I don't know about you, but by this time in the season I'm usually tired
enough to welcome the frost, since it means less intensive work in the garden.
Or maybe not for us, since we have been planting our winter greens and
preparing to build a hoop house to keep them going during the winter. If you
haven't signed up to be on our customer list for fresh greens after the Farmer's
Market ends, stop by our booth or send an e-mail soon so we can include you.
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October 5, 2002
Copyright © 2002, Karen Strickler. All rights reserved.