Cold and Garden

We’ve had a pretty nice fall, weather wise.  We had an early mild frost mid September, that barely touched anything except heavily shaded areas.  And then it was gorgeous.  Temps in the upper 60’s and 70’s, lows just cold enough you wanted a coat.

Its finally come to an end.  These last few days its been colder and colder, the high progressively chillier and chillier though the lows only barely touched the freezing mark.  Then last night it froze.  I’m not sure what low we actually hit, but our thermometer said 22 degrees at 8am this morning.  I forgot to bring in the pumpkin yesterday before dark (I worked extra hours and by the time I remembered it was already full dark), so that’ll be coming in today.  And tomorrow I’ll dig up the remainder of the carrots.  I can safely assume everything else is dead.

Course, this coming Friday we have a predicted high of 67…..

 

Final garden tally:

1 cantalope (the rest rotted on the vine for no obvious reason)

0 watermelons (they looked good…till they all split before they were ripe)

2 pumpkins (one tiny)

1 batch of hot peppers (mixed hot wax and jalapeno), enough to make 1 batch of jelly (I usually get at least two, and last year I got 3 batches)

a random assortment of carrots, some did better than others

8 onions ( I only planted 10)

several zucchini, enough to keep us in zucchini muffins for the winter no problem

popcorn: the popcorn planted in the containers did pretty well though I had some fertilization problems, the popcorn in the ground mostly drowned, however I had 0 problems with ears being stolen.  Though I can’t prove it I suspect that the fact that it wasn’t sweet corn means that the critters weren’t drawn in.  I WILL be doing popcorn again next year.

Sunflowers: did pretty well despite the rain, we’ve got several heads of seeds drying

Berries: the ONLY survivors from my original plantings are my mixed assortment of blueberries.  Between being drowned, then scorched, and then drowned again, everything else died.  The blueberries aren’t huge, but they’re alive, putting out new growth, and even had a few berries this year, I’ve been highly impressed, especially since one of the varieties is a fancy thats only barely tolerant of this sort of climate.  I planted new berries this year using tires as raised beds.  They all survived the summer rains and one of the golden raspberries even produced some late berries!

I’ve made a deal with a local repair shop to get used tires for free.  As many at a time as I can fit in the back of my Dodge Caliber.  Which means 4-5 large truck tires or 8-10 car tires per load.  I’m picking them up after work every day till I have the shed as full as I’m willing to get it, and then I’ll spend my free time this winter cutting sidewalls.  Nothing will be planted in the ground next year, everything will go in “raised beds” courtesy of those tires.  Filling them with dirt is going to suck.  I’ll have to see if I can arrange a couple pickup-loads before the ground thaws in the late winter so that we can drive right on back and shovel it into the tires from the truck bed.  But I think it’ll be worth it in the long run for the garden.  And I need to figure out how to handle the weeds.  Standard weedbarrier just doesn’t hold up well to that sort of abuse.  I’m thinking some cheap tarps held down by the tires and cut under the tires to allow roots through, but we’ll see what I can get, and I’m not sure about the run-off from those…..

 

2 Comments

  1. Comment by bogie:

    OI actually remembered to bring in my one pumpkin and set it in the back room to finish ripening. When I looked earlier today, it seemed to have worked and is a gorgeous, well, pumpkin color.

    My peppers (hot) did well as they usually do. And, as usual, they waited until the very end of the season. I was picking those just before bringing in the pumpkin.

    • Comment by Ruth:

      Yah, the big pumpkin is definetly turning more orange in the few days since I pulled it, so I’m hopefull! The little one finished ripening in place, but not on the vine, as the vine died back for some reason.