Monday, October 5, 2015

End of Harvest

Gardens are cleaned up and ready for the first frost.  That usually happens around October 1st in my area but the extended forecast doesn't show a single low near freezing, not even below 40F, which makes for a nice long autumn, but as always, makes me say "Climate Change" and wonder just what that will mean for us.  I hope you all enjoyed that finely crafted run-on sentence.

Cold frame has swiss chard, spinach, and a tiny bit of buttercrunch lettuce coming up.  The lettuce did not germinate well this year.  The seed packet IS 3 years old.  Time to invest in "fresher" seed for next year, I suppose, and sow more heavily.  Haven't had to get the lid down to cover the cold frame yet with our warmer than normal temps.

My herbs in the front yard are still producing, but slowing down.  They like heat and while it's been warmer than average, it's not been HOT.  I have enough dried oregano and thyme to last through the winter, but I'll run out of lemon verbena soon enough.  Next year, I'll plant lemon balm instead, as it is a perennial in my region and has the same scent.

The tomatoes did well in containers until mid-August when they gave up all at once.  A bit of blight, ran out of room in the 2 foot deep pots, and I just couldn't fertilize them enough for the size they were.  Next year, those will go into a new bed on the south side of our garage so they have plenty of room for their roots to grow. 

I think I have enough green beans frozen and in jars to last us until they start growing again next summer.  Some bug kept eating the seedlings as they emerged, so I had to keep replanting them.  This resulted in me having 6 weeks of harvest off of bush bean plants.  Next year, because our gardens are smaller, I'm going to buy some pole bean seeds to use space more efficiently.

Also need to make more wire cages for stand alone plants.  The rabbit and squirrel population in our neighborhood is out of control.  We have a couple families of hawks, and a coyote in the area, but clearly, not enough predators to protect my plants.  Artificial means are necessary.  At least I don't have to contend with a suburban deer herd like I did at our old house.  There, I used electric fencing to keep deer and woodchucks/groundhogs out of my gardens. 

I'm ready for the snow to start flying and the seed catalogs to arrive.