Make up your mind already!

Spring and fall are times when it seems the earth can’t make up its mind. Warm, spring-like weather alternates with cold, blustery, and dreary days. Sometimes these can be back to back. It is hardly any surprise that people get sick more easily when it vacillates like this. I have not yet been sick (knock on wood) and I try to enjoy the good weather when it decides to make an appearance. Unfortunately, many of our warmer days lately have also been very windy. Difficult to appreciate the warmth when it is like that.

The garden is basically set for the winter. Lettuce and spinach have been planted in the square beds and has already come up. Romaine has been planted and transplanted since early September. I enjoy nice big salads when there is enough to pick. Peas have been blooming in the long beds in the back yard for at least two weeks, but no pods are y et evident. I fear the wind on the warmer days has kept the bees away.

Because I could not get my tiller started, I dumped bags of manure on beds that won’t be planted until the spring. The rain and snow will have to break down the chunks. I would have preferred to have tilled them in, along with kelp meal and egg shells.

I plan to ask the farmers next door to leave a pile of well-rotted manure behind my house for next year. He plans to build raised=bed frames for his wife, and will fill them with manure. If he does this for me, it will save about $100 a year in bagged manure. I also planted the peas and beans to provide nitrogen.

I got tired of sorting the pans of green tomatoes. After I put four gallons in the freezer, I dumped the rest in the dog pen. They had no difficulty deducing which were the ripest. I plan to start making the last batch of sauce later this week.

Except for harvesting and transplanting lettuce, garden activity is mostly done. I mulched the leaves on the lawn (twice for the front lawn) to provide fertilizer and because I hate raking. I guess I had enough after the ice storm a few years ago.

A Romaine plant somehow came up in a pea bed. I am leaving it there to see how cold it can get and stay green. We have been down to 25 F and it is still alive, although a darker green than those in the covered bed. The peas continue to shake off the cold.

The green beans picked a few weeks ago are either in the freezer or have been eaten fresh. It was nice to enjoy fresh green beans this late in the year. I have about 10 gallons in the freezer, to be added to soups and casseroles. The apples are done. We had a disappointing crop this year. Most of those will go into pies to be sent to my parents in PA.

The new watering system is now working correctly. As long as I can keep the feeder hose defrosted, I shouldn’t have to hand-water this winter. This may require digging the hose out of the snow. As far as I can see, the sprinkler hoses in all the side-yard beds are working. Each bed has its own control via a Y-connecter. I hope they thaw out in the sun. This could potentially be a problem for the beds with dense Black-seeded lettuce. The lids will be either closed entirely or open about an inch in the coldest weather. Right now, they are still propped open.
Here it is almost the end of the year and the garden still provides. I still have Romaine to transplant for at least a few weeks more. I still check the pea plants for any sign of pods, although that hope is fast-fading. I wonder if they will continue to try to produce until spring? They are an experiment, so we will just have to see.

Happy gardening!



~ by suscrofa on November 22, 2010.

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