“When everything that ticked has stopped,
And space stares, all around,
Or grisly frosts, first autumn morns,
Repeal the beating ground.”
– Emily Dickinson
I had scheduled this book review months ago. I thought that exploring frost in September before it happens in October (our usual first frost) would be very timely. Who would have thought we would have our first frost this year a full month early (last week)…of course this just goes along with the crazy weather we have been having all year so I guess I am not surprised at all.
I have always found frost beautiful especially in fall. Although I know little about it, I just love seeing it from fall through winter where it is especially beautiful and on into spring. Truth be told, I hope for frost to be gone in spring by the time May rolls around so I can plant my veg garden. This past year we had little frost, but it was a chilly in May and June delaying the veg garden.
I forget where I first saw this book, but I was intrigued by the table of contents and the pictures. And it is written by someone who lives North of me in New York State on the Canadian border. I hope you enjoy my pictures of frost as I review this lovely instructional book for Holley’s Garden Book Review which usually happens on the 20th.
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Willow Creek Pr; First Edition edition (February 1, 2003)
Amazon Price: $17.59
In A Few Words
This book is a comprehensive guide to all aspects of frost in both spring and fall. And what gardener wouldn’t want to learn how to plant earlier in spring and extend the season well into fall without the fear of frost. Within the book you are given a beginners look into determining your climate, understanding frost, planning a frost-ready garden, forecasting frost, fending off frost and gardening past frost.
For purposes of the book, frost is defined as freezing, and the garden discussed is the kitchen garden as it is the most susceptible to frost, and veg gardeners are always trying to outwit frost and keep the growing season going. The author takes you through determining your particular climate; (begin and end frost days, frost-free days and microclimates within your garden); different types of frost and how frost forms; how humidity, fog and water affect frost; and even making your own frost forecast using humidity, dew points and the phases of the moon.
What I Liked
I found the book very informative although a bit technical, but not too much so. And along with the information are some splendid frost pictures.
What I found particularly interesting was the section on how frost forms. I did not realize that it moves downhill which makes sense in a way. I also found interesting the fact that frost causes a plant to be dehydrated which is why there is damage especially to plants not fully hydrated. Of course there are many kinds of frost that cause the water within the cells to rupture dooming the plant. And who knew that a fall frost is far less worrisome than a spring frost because the ground is warmer and the plants can recover better than in the colder spring.
I also really liked the idea of forecasting frost although it is a bit technical. I think with time I could become quite adept at it though. One very interesting fact is that frost is quite likely to occur a week before a full moon. And that is precisely when we just had our first frost.
Quite possibly the most important chapter is the one that teaches techniques on how to garden with frost. Some plants like Brussel sprouts require frost to enhance their flavor, and simple techniques like row covers, cold frames and knowing which plants will tolerate frost can make the garden grow well into fall and winter in some areas.
Not So Much
For those who do not have to worry about frost, who have no desire to forecast frost or who do not veg garden you may not find this book useful. But it is still very interesting for those who enjoy weather and gardening. I am not sure the book would translate to other countries, but the science behind frost and the ways to fend it off are universal.
I knew I was going to love this book because it combines useful gardening information with important weather and climate information in a easy to understand way. And if nothing else this book reminds us that frost is a signal for us to slow down. To move slowly in spring, and to begin to slow in fall. The author emphasizes that the most successful gardeners are those who notice things. Frost gives us the opportunity to slow down, look at the garden and notice the natural rhythms. And if you have ever looked closely at frost, it is a beautiful world where you are transported to a wonderland of ice.
Adelaide Crapsey, 1878-1914, November Night
Next up on the blog: Next Monday I will showcase another special wildflower. And then it will be time for another monthly wrap up in my Gardens Eye Journal post the first Monday in October.
I am guest blogging over at Vision and Verb Tuesday the 24th. I hope you will visit this wonderful website of women writers.
I am linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Wednesday.
I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. See my most current post now.
As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.
Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.