Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fall Harvest and garden prep

The average first killing frost for this area is Oct. 10th. Which means we have a lot of garden prep to do before then. i'm not ready to give up my garden quite yet.

This years garden has been a bit odd, i had a lot of things planted late or just mature late. i'm harvesting lots of different/first time squash that were planted in the middle of the summer. Andie from Snake mountain Threads sent me some unusal seeds to try growing. Some of these pictured are the Kabocha squash and the 8 ball zucchini squash. i also have a red kuri that is not quite ready to pick. i'm giving it a few more days before the frost comes and kills back the vines. i also have some patty pans just starting to produce. i'm not actually sure what to do with anything these, and will be looking up some recipes.
Pickle worms attacked my winter squash again this year, but i did get a few butternut and acorn squash. The pumpkin came up on it's own out of the compost, and we ended up with two medium sized pumpkins.

My second planting of purple beans are producing great right now! i usually get in three planting, but this year i only put in two. i also have several tomato plants that are completely loaded with green tomatoes. It's going to be so sad to see the frost wipe these out, and i'm going to try everything i can to prevent that!

This picture doesn't really show much, but this is one of the front beds where i have a couple peppers just begining to produce. So this is my attempt to extend their life a bit. i picked up 1/2", 10' pvc tubing at Lowes for $1.47 each. Pushed them into the ground to create this very basic hoop house frame, then i covered it all in greenhouse plastic. i have some long strips of scrap wood, that i'm going to staple the plastic too, in hopes of holding it all down. On nights when frost is predicted, i'm going to place a candle under the tent. A small candle can generate enough heat to raise the temp well above freezing. i don't know if it will totally protect from a heavy frost, but it's worth a shot.

This is all sweet potatoes that need to be dug before frost kills back the vines. You can see at the top i have one hoop house/row cover completed and another in progress.

My main garden still has 3 rows of beans that are producing, and another huge patch of sweet potatoes and one row of red potatoes that still need to be dug up. i also have three rows of soy beans that need to be picked. i picked a few green as edamame, and let the rest dry on the plants. i'm planning to attempt homemade tempeh this winter. i fenced off a portion of the main garden for lettuce, spinach, kale, chard and other cold crops. i've tried planting these several times, but the chickens have scratched up every last seed i've put into the ground and skelatized my chard. So this is my last attempt at getting some greens planted. Last year my spinach and lettuce continued to grown under a foot of snow, so as long as i get it germinated i think it'll do alright.
My cosmos are still blooming, as are my nasturtium. However, a lot of things are dying back. i have a lot of work to do in the garden getting things prepped and ready for winter. We started a fire in the woodstove yesterday, first one of the season. i'm feeling the usual melancholy that this time of year brings, so you may not see as many posts from me for a while.

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  1. Lovely - thanks Tree! I love the idea of the inexpensive hoop house!

  2. Where did you find your greenhouse plastic? I've only found it over the net and I don't want to drop $130+ this year so I was gonna use painters plastic. I know it is not the same, especially with the UV filtration but I have to cover a lot of garden space!

    I have to pick up my pvc tomorrow and was planning on sticking 3/4" stakes into the ground then sliding 1/2" on top but your method seems easier. how far into the ground did you push the tubes to keep them stable?