October 21, 2010 at 8:22 a.m.
Apples can handle a hard frost if it doesn't last too long or if they are not on the ground. In fact, some varieties of apples actually sweeten up as long as you don't handle them while the frost is on them. Apples are stored at about twenty-eight degrees for long periods of time with no ill effects.
Buttercup, acorn, and Hubbard squash can handle a pretty hard freeze, but butternut squash with their thin skin needs to be protected. Pumpkins can take a hard freeze as long as it doesn't get too cold or rainy.
Cole crops such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cabbage can take a lot of cold weather. We never pick brussel sprouts until they have gone through a couple of hard freezes. They are like apples in that a hard freeze sweetens them. I know several gardeners that are picking brussel sprouts well into November.
This was an interesting year for fall raspberries. They started producing at least two weeks earlier than other years, with above average heat and moisture. I have heritage everbearing and since they are a drier berry they are more prone to sunscald. So with the heat and continuing rain, picking berries was more difficult. It still was a good year for berries, but with the killing frost the berry season is also over.
Most gardeners have picked their potatoes and onions. It depended on the variety and when they ripened. Beets and carrots can handle a lot of cold weather. My dad didn't want them dug until the last minute so they would store longer in the root cellar. More than once while I was digging the beets and carrots the wind was blowing and there was snow in the air.
Most flower gardeners dig their glads, dahlias, and canna bulbs after a killing frost. Don't forget that cannas must be treated differently, since the stalks are so thick they must dry off before being dug.