Cold Snap Gums Up the Works

As I type this, one third of my rooftop garden sits on the floor in my living room. A second third of the garden is cluttering up the hallway around our front door. “Come on in friendly visitor! But first brave this minefield of plants, soil, and containers.” The final third remains outside. They were either impossible to transport or cold hardy enough to stay outdoors during last night’s reported RISK OF FROST, dated June 5, 2007. In June. Five days into the month of June in the year 2007. Just days after sweating to the oldies with RISK OF BURNING UP while adding new plants to my community garden plot.


Who loves climate change now?


We constructed this tent system for the garbage can-grown tomatoes that could not be moved. We used a huge piece of canvas cloth and the existing tripod stakes in the containers as support. The tomatoes look fine but the tomatillo is not taking it well at all. I’ve left this insane structure in place since it is still very cold and windy out there. The rooftop deck is exposed on three sides so the wind is a lot more intense than on the ground.


On a positive note I ate my first peas of the season this morning and ‘Whipper Snapper’ (aka ‘Whippersnapper’) is still going strong having begun making itty bitty tomatoes sometime around last Friday. At this rate, and if the real June ever decides to return, we should have our first tomatoes before July 1.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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11 thoughts on “Cold Snap Gums Up the Works

  1. Sorry to read about the weather. We had a hard freeze in early Spring. Some plants bounced back, some died.
    Now, it’s bone dry and looks more like August.

  2. I didn’t even think to protect my plants last night and today. I called my b/f and he moved what he could inside for me. I hope they are all ok! I’m in Rochester NY and we got the cold snap too. I’m wearing a hoodie in June, ugh!

  3. Cold and windy here on the prairies today too, at least where I am… it went from “unseasonably cool” for May according to the Farmer’s Almanac to oh-my-god is it August already with 30 degree days back to chilly… this is also my first year starting plants from seed and having to do the whole hardening off thing… some stuff looks great and some things (like my pepper plant and my watermelon plant) don’t look so hot… where is the happy medium?!?

  4. I was wearing a long sleeve shirt, a jacket, and a scarf! It has warmed up considerably since this morning and the forecast calls for normal temps for the rest of the week.

    I haven’t begun to access the damage but I think it’s not too bad. I am about to go over to my community plot to check on that. I think the roof was hit worse because of the exposure to wind. I could see my breath out there last night!

  5. We had frost warnings and SNOW in North Bay that day. It’s times like those that I just have a container garden, so I can at least bring the green babies inside.

  6. Snow! Wow that sucks.

    The plants at my community garden were completely fine. I may have lost some Mexican Sour Gherkins on the deck, some basil, and a few smaller tomatoes that I hadn’t planted yet. Everything else has some damage but will live.

  7. tell me about it…I didn’t hear about frost warning..or if I did, I was totally in denial. So my poor basil…o the humanity!

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