Share the post "Understanding The USDA Hardiness Zones"FacebookTwitterDiggStumbleUponE-mailUnderstanding The USDA Hardiness Zones by Robin Follette Reprints by permission. The USDA zones are too often misunderstood. As a result of the misunderstanding, they’re More »
Garden – Officially Done
The 2007 outdoor growing season officially ended this afternoon when we dug the last of the carrots and the rutabagas. There’s an inch to an inch and a half of frozen soil in the garden now. Some of the carrots had to be wiggled out of the soil. The carrots in the lower right corner of the basket are small. They grew on the end of the row without seaweed. The large ones did exceptionally well with the turned in weed. I’ll make as many trips to get weed next spring as possible. It takes planning and coordinating schedules. I need the truck, low tide during the day, and the ability to be off the farm for no less than six hours at a time. It’s time well spent. I put seaweed in each hole when I planted tomatoes then mulched around them too. There wasn’t any blossom end rot until after the first frost in early September.
It’s time to move the winter squash to the cellar. I’m confident they’re well cured and don’t have soft spots. They should last until at least February. If they start to get soft spots they’ll be either eaten as the spots are discovered or peeled, blanched and frozen. By the time these are gone we’ll be eating fresh greens from the greenhouse again. The basket on the left has Waltham Butternut, Sweet Dumpling (green and white stripes), Zeppelin Delicata (long, narrow, yellow, green stripes. The gourds and Jack Be Little will be used for Thanksgiving dinner decorations next week. The basket on the right contains Waltham Butternut. Compare the butternuts on the left with the ones on the right. Left – no seaweed. Right – seaweed.
A few things about seaweed. We pick “weed” off the beach during low tide. We never pick weed attached to the rocks. That’s illegal, it’s more labor intensive and there’s no need to pick live weed when there’s so much available on the sand. We use rockweed. It’s an excellent mulch for weed suppression. It’s full of micronutrients many growers over look. There’s more to soil health than NPK. I made the mistake of trying to rototill “just a little” seaweed into the top of the soil once. It takes longer to untangle the weed from the tines than it does to turn it into the soil with a garden fork.
The greenhouse is still doing well. I went out to pick a few salad greens a few days ago and came in with a peck. I didn’t make a dent in what’s out there. It’s a good feeling. I moved a wheelbarrow load of almost done compost to the greenhouse last week. I added earthworms to that pile and will leave it the pile alone until I’m ready to use it.
We had to be off the farm this morning (separately) and didn’t get to work until around 1 p.m. I’m getting tired. When thinking about next year’s growing season is more than my tired brain can manage it’s time for a break. I’m almost done. Tired or not, there’s work to be done. The throttle cable for the Hauler came Friday. Steve fixed it today. Anyone want to get in on the “when will it break down again” pool? I need to use it tomorrow. I’m picking 60 minutes after I first start it. We split a half cord of wood, got sand to store the winter carrots, dug the carrots and pulled rutabagas. While I put a roast in the oven and did a few other things Steve skinned the buck (deer) he shot yesterday. I closed up the poultry then went back out after dark to catch the straggler barred rock hen. She spent one night sleeping on the ground in the middle of the pumpkins this past week. “Rob, I think you’ve got a dead chicken in the pumpkins.” She was sleeping. She can’t stay out tonight because we have a raccoon prowling the farm.
Two nights ago a raccoon tipped over the trout food, dragged it to the edge of the porch and had a feast. Last night it passed up baked stuffed haddock in the live trap to scatter apples on the porch. Hibernate already you little monster! It makes a mess out of things I don’t think it will bother. Last night it pushed some 20 pound pumpkins off the porch, cracking two of them when they hit the ground.
The roofers came today to set up. They’ll be back at 7 a.m. to start replacing the roof. If I think of it before they get here I’ll take a before picture.