One of the most particular nights in my garden is when the first frost arrive, usually in mid October. Although the air at head height did fall below 1C, the tops of Dahlia, yacon and oca was killed by freezing. Oca only partly, as I have placed a box on top of the plants. Only leaves out of the box is dead. First frost typically happens in my garden in mid-October, after a day of sunshine, in a windless night. The bone-dry air lets the earth’s heat radiate out into the universe. The cooling then hits all the most frost tender plants.
Does that sound bad? It is not. It is another step into our future. Both tops of Dahlia and of yacon is fine to get frozen, because it reminds me that it’s time to dig them up. It will probably be a long time yet, before the frost reaches the tubers down the ground. But if I wait to dig them up, I’m likely to forget about them.
Other plants tolerate no frost at all. F.ex. geranium, lemon grass and banana plants must be completely protected from frost. I potted them up last week-end. Now they just have to get the best out of the warm, low light winter quarter in too dry air.
The banana plant, which stood in the kitchen garden, I had planned to overwinter outdoors under a thick cover, but as far as I can understand the good advice on the internet, it has no real chance to get through. So this winter I’ll take it indoors. In the photo it is just placed in the pot, waiting for more recycled potting soil. But maybe I will leave it outdoor next year. Maybe it just need a huge compost pile and a tarpaulin on top of it?
Lemon grass I have grown in the garden for several seasons, and taken it indoors every winter. It works fine, and some of the stems are nice thick. The thick ones we can eat, the rest can overwinter in a clump, be divided in spring and planted in the vegetable garden again.