Our Northwest

Save your garden tomatoes from early frost

Friday, September 12, 2014by  Jon Osterberg

The first freeze of the season hit the Inland Northwest on Thursday, putting vegetable gardens at risk for frostbite.
   Temperatures dropped to the 20s and lower 30s in many places as polar air pushed south. Republic saw 27 degrees, Mazama reported 28, and Baker City and Burns hit 35.
   Northwest gardening expert Ciscoe Morris says you should bring your tomatoes in before the weather cools. That can be way before a freeze – he advises fetching them when nighttime temperatures fall into the 40s, or once steady rains return. Tomatoes with orange color will ripen on your counter.
   Getting green tomatoes to ripen is challenging, but you often can do it by hanging the entire uprooted plant upside down indoors. Learn more, and also read what to do with squash and fuchsias, in his Seattle Times column.

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