preparing (tomatoes0 for first frost in Colorado Front Range

Hello:
I've been pulling a few pounds per week of tomatoes off of my plants. This is my second year growing. Last year, I didn't make any preparations for the first frost, and I ended up yanking green tomatoes off the vine in the middle of a snowstorm. They were frozen, and ruined, by the time I got them inside.
What should I do this year to ensure that I get the most out of my tomatoes as we lead up to the first frost? I feel like it could come at any time... is there any kind of hotline? :)
Cheers, Stephen
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Stephen Younge said:

There was probably not much you could have done (by covering your tomatoes) in the face of a snowstorm, except to have started picking the potentially ripenable sooner.

When the predicted lows get below 40 degrees, I start to check for frost and freeze advisories. On clear, still nights I can get frost at the bottom of the yard even when the actual low is 37 degrees F.
I usually check theWeather Channel online for frost and freeze advisories. (Mind the line wrap.)
<http://www.weather.com/maps/activity/homeandgarden/usfrostandfreezeadvisories_ large.html>
--
Pat in Plymouth MI (someplace.net is comcast)

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snipped-for-privacy@someplace.net.net (Pat Kiewicz) wrote in message

I do the same, but one other thing I do is try to squeeze in seed broadcasting or transplanting ahead of a rainstorm. Yesterday I seeded the last arugula, spinach and tatsoi, and today we must have gotten well over an inch (I am guessing 1.5). No reason going by a set date if then you have to water every night - seeding ahead of a good soak makes all the difference.
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If a minor frost is expected, you can throw towels, sheets, newspapers, etc over plants - that's when the low might be predicted to be between 31- 35. Anything colder than that, and you are best off picking everything and setting all the fruit on a warm windowsill to ripen.

es_
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On Mon, 22 Sep 2003 03:48:57 GMT, "Stephen Younge"
(Follow-ups trimmed to rec.gardens.edible)

Your local weather forecast should give you a warning. I use:
http://www.wunderground.com
Short of covering your tomato plants at night (usually not practical), you can pick all the green tomatoes and bring them in the house.
Any that show the slightest bit of ripening should ripen in the house (for the most part - a few will probably go rotten). I spread mine out in a single layer - as many as I have room for.
Those that are totally green can be used to make green tomato relish, or as a substitute for tomatillos in salsa verde, or fried green tomatoes.
Pat -- To email me, remove the obvious word, and type my first name in its place. "Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of supply and demand. It is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy." - Wendell Berry
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Pick them before it frosts, maybe now if they are big enough. Listen to NOAA radio or the Weather Channel, and act accordingly.
Anything elaborate to protect them against frost probably won't do much to increase yield, at least not enough to justify the effort and time involved, and you run the risk of losing them all if it gets colder than you thought it would.
J. Del Col
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