Baby, it’s cold outside

I’m doing cold weather damage control. I never seem able to get all the tender plants in in time to preserve them over the winter.

I just rescued a cherry tomato plant from my deck. A sad specimen. It had been worked over by neighborhood squirrels, one arm badly mangled, upended and a goodly amount of soil dug out.

I had this idea that I would keep the tomato plant going all winter by creating a mini greenhouse out there, using a heated birdbath as a base and a plastic and wood construction to form a mini-teepee. Imagining eating a tomato in January from my own plant. Even if I only got one tomato every 2 weeks, it would be worth it.

Trouble is I never built the mini-greenhouse and I never got an extension cord for my heated birdbath base. (The old cord got chewed up by the self same squirrel hoodlums that beat up the tomato plant).

The thing that amazed me when I went out this cold and frosty morning was that this tomato plant is still alive.

We have had a few below zero nights and many nights at just freezing. I had a basil plant out there that I had zipped into a vinyl bag (the kind that bedding comes in – it was a particularly big one) and I had great hopes for it. But it was now black and dead inside the bag. Alas poor Basil, I knew ye well.

Yet the tomato plant was still alive, with tiny green tomatoes and little new flowers. I clipped the dead stuff off the plant and hope to rehabilitate it. It’s now in my kitchen, adding to my end of season garden clutter.

Another suprisingly hardy plant. A fuschia that I had neglected a bit over the summer. Alive and thriving. Too bad it’s pink. Will I bring it in, even though I’m not crazy about the colour? (It was a gift) Of course I will. It’s damn cold out there!

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