A glorious sight last night!

The clouds looked as if they were on fire and for some reason the cloud spectacular made me start humming Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’ song.  Weird how certain things touch off tunes.


Our first winter rain storm came in yesterday morning and dropped over 3/4 inch of rain here on the urban homestead.  What a blessing the rain was.  Now, that’s the good news!

The bad news, is that we experience our first freeze not frost but freeze. 20 degrees was the low this morning!

Before going to bed Justin went out saw that the clouds (our natural blanket) were leaving with the wind, check the temps and assessed that there was a good breeze and if the wind kept up we’d be OK.  Usually Justin assesses the temperature around 10 pm, but we all went to bed early (had an exhausting day) so that probably didn’t help – going to bed early I mean.

Because sometime during the night the wind stopped and temperature dipped and the ice penetrated our light row covering.

For the onions, brassicas, carrots and root crops the ice isn’t a big deal.  But for the salad greens and perhaps our last bed of eggplant and tomatoes, it’s a different story.

A frost whistler to warn us would have come in handy!

This morning Justin’s out hosing down the affected plants hoping to keep them at 32 before “dead zone” time that’s right before the sun comes up.  So, we’ll be ok.

Unfortunately means we out of business this week – no income by selling our greens to the restaurants.  And right now salad greens are all the surplus we have.   We’ll still eat, but this will hurt our pocket books.

From the signs it looks like it’s going to be a cold winter.  Going to be cold again tonight and there’s another rain storm a coming at the end of the week.

Hey So Cal folks how did your garden fare?  Care to commisserate?


  1. BJ Gingles says:

    I’m in Louisiana not So Cal…. but we had 21 degree weather (and SNOW) this week. I lost my tomatoes, eggplant and pepper plants (hearbreaking to me as I had lovely vegies not big enough to harvest but coming along fine). I also lost my marigolds and dahlias which were about to bloom. I am a beginning gardener and was just trying to stretch the growing season as much as possible, but hate that I lost as much as I did. I had covered the plants but found out too late what I did would have raised the temp only around 5 degrees. I have researched now how to raise it more. Live and learn. But I do understand your pain on losing the lettuce.

  2. Maureen says:

    We’re in the Central Valley of CA (Exeter). I think last night’s low was just below freezing – the wind machines in the nearby orange orchards were going all night, that’s our ‘warning’ – and tonight’s forcast is 26….brrrrrr.

    The tomatoes are definitely gone but everything else looks ok. We did cover our new citrus and they seem fine, so far. I actually thought we were always colder than you guys, being further north and all.

    Sorry about your losses, hopefully this will pass fairly quickly.

  3. Carl says:

    I liked the rain, saved on watering. But I have not covered my garden. I hope my Arugula is ok, will check tonight. Not as cold as Pasadena (I guess) but cold nontheless in Anaheim Hills (Yorba Linda). Going to plant an orange tree this weekend! Got it for my birthday! Whoo whoo, the perfect gift for a vegan!
    Peace and Love,

  4. Linda says:

    My lettuce patch came through the frost (although I’m not sure how), but I’m pulling out the row covers tonight to protect them. Everything else is pretty tolerant of the light frosts we get (brocolli, kale, carrots, tatsoi, beets), and even the leftover pepper plants are chugging along.

    Loved getting that rain! I won’t have to water for a week at least, and everything got a good soaking. Looking forward to the future rains too – they are too much of a rarity here in Riverside for me NOT to enjoy them 🙂 Plus, the last garden bed that I’ve been putting off digging out and amending because it was rock hard now got a soaking that will soften it like buttah – once it dries a bit. I’m shooting for a Christmas-time dig/amend. A bit late, but better late than never and I should still get a good crop of kohlrabi and spring batches of lettuce for next year.


  5. Aimee says:

    We live in so. cal. between Palm Springs and Riverside. It was 27 at 6:30 this a.m. Everything came out okay. I was worried about my lettuce but it looked fine this morning until our chickens got out and ate it! GRRR! I’m a bit concerned about my potatoes I put some in just last week and don’t know if the rain is going to be too much for them. The cabbage and broccoli looked okay too. This is my first time planting a fall garden.

  6. J says:

    Hi Anais, as you know, we’re in West Covina, zone 22. We knew the temps would get low, so we covered what we could.( left over cucumber, lettuce, tomato, bitter melon, potted mango and avocado) There was a row of Romaine Lettuce that we didn’t have anything to cover with, so we let nature take it’s course. Everything uncovered had frost on it this morning. (I posted some pics on my blog) I sprayed water on the Romaine this morning before the sun showed it’s face on the lettuces and it seemed to help it thaw out without much damage. Tonight we found something to cover it, we hope it will help it. I’m sorry for your loss of crops…

  7. Deb says:

    My hubby sings me that Johnny Cash song! Love it! Thanks for the pics and posts! Such an inspiration!!! Hope you recover quickly from the frosting…We just lost our peppers in NC, Zone 7.

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