Tag Archives: Fall garden

Oh what a Beautiful Morning, Oh what a . . .

This was a stellar fall day.  It started with a glorious sunrise as I sat at the bus stop with A.

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We had overnight frost again, but it was already above freezing when we left for the bus.  N was dressed, fed and delivered to preschool and I returned home to knit and read until after we picked her up from school.  By then, the day was a mild 70f and the sky was azure.

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Once she went down for her nap, the garden beckoned.  How could I possibly stay indoors on such a gift of a day?  The two pounds of seed garlic were separated into cloves, gloves, hoe and garden fork collected. Head hatted and off I went to do some post frost clean up and prepare the bed for the garlic, plant it, mulch it and cover it with row cover to discourage my two legged garden helpers.

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One of the young roosters, doing his part to clean up the garden and oh so curious about what I was digging up.

All of the pepper plants, tomato plants, pumpkin vines, pigweed and smart weed were pulled in the upper 2/3’s of the garden and thrown over the fence into the hen’s run, though most of them were scratching around in the garden.  The pepper bed was turned and the cloves of garlic planted.

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As soon as I left the garden to grab an arm load of spoiled hay, the hens converged on the newly planted bed to try to undo what I had just done.  The garlic was mulched and covered and then the gate from the hen’s pen to the garden was reworked to improve the angle of the fence and to remove about 5 feet of wire that was overlapped too far and in the way.  Now the run can be closed off from the garden or opened to give them free run of the 65 X 25 foot space, by pulling the white plastic stake and resetting it against the fixed fence.  This is the same arrangement I use on other side of the garden to gain entrance.

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The girls that were too leery of my efforts to be in the garden with me, scratched around in the plants that were tossed over the fence.

Another day or two of effort should allow me to remove the rest of the pigweed, the cucumber and squash vines, locate the blueberry bushes and get mulch down around them and around the raspberry bushes.  I’m not sure how I will keep the chooks from scattering the spoiled hay.

Let the canning begin

What we are lacking in eggs, we are making up for in tomatoes.  There are several bags in the freezer awaiting sauce and I just brought in this bucket full.

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There are many more buckets full that will ripen over the next few weeks.  Tomorrow will be dedicated to a large pot of pasta sauce making and canning.  Salsa will utilize the next bucketful.  The tomatillos are beginning to fill out as well and I will begin making tomatillo sauce and green salsa soon too.

My peppers are not all the varieties that I intended to grow.  There may not be jalapenos to can, but mammoth jalapenos will go into the salsas.

Last weekend was the 75th annual Newport Agricultural Fair and one of the vendors was selling heirloom seed, so I picked up a handful of varieties that I haven’t grown of peppers and tomatoes, plus a few other seed.  And I entered a raffle to win 20 packets of seed.

The last big harvest of cucumbers were made into 5 more pints of dill pickles.

Most of the squash are dying back and a few got so large while we had a houseful of guests last weekend that the chickens got a bonus.  We are still getting a few for sauteed squash and squash casseroles.

The nesting boxes are closed off for the second night, after chasing broody hen off of one of them and taking the eggs inside.  She is again sitting in front of the barrier on the floor of the coop.  I may have to take more diligent methods to break her so she will begin laying again.

It is about time to get some fall seed in the ground if we are to hope for any harvest.  I hope to build a deeper box to put some of the fall greens in with hopes of extending the harvest season by covering it with clear plastic once the first frost is threatened.

Fall Gardening

The sunny day yesterday did not really happen, but it didn’t really rain either. It was only in the mid 60’s most of the day and partly to mostly cloudy, so a perfect day to garden.

Since eggs are a premium around here still, we went out to breakfast at our local diner. I have gotten 2 pullet eggs in the past couple of days. There are 11 pullets, so we are hoping they will all get the message soon. Their eggs are so cute next to the hens eggs.

After breakfast, we ventured down to Tractor Supply for pine shavings for the brooder and to replace the solar charger that is supposed to protect my garden and the chickens, but failed right before we left for vacation. When we purchased it, we only got a 6V solar charger. The batteries on them only last about 3 years and it probably needs a new battery, but Tractor Supply had a 12V on sale  for a price I couldn’t pass up. It is mounted and charging to be connected after I return from taking our grandson home today. Our adventure yesterday also took us to our favorite local nursery for fall vegetable starts. Having grandson here, activities with him, and our vacation just got in the way of starting my own. Once home, a bit of grubbing in the soil with my awesome hoe and my hands, cleared two beds, weeded the bean patch where I realized that the gnawed off shoots were growing new leaves. Planted were 4 Rainbow Chard, 8 Broccoli, 4 Kale plants.
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Once they were safely tucked in the soil and mulched with some spoiled hay, row cover was placed over them and the beans to thwart the bunnies and the cabbage moths. Perhaps we will get some beans this season after all. We have about 60 days until our average first frost date, so I am hopeful.
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In recent years, I have been reluctant to plant radishes and turnips in our garden as they always seem to be attacked by the little white maggots. Recently I read that if you sprinkle wood ash in your furrow that they won’t be a problem. I hadn’t really saved any wood ash, but found a couple of cups worth in the bottom of the woodstove and added it to about a cup of diatomaceous earth and planted a row of red radishes, a row of white icicle radishes and a row of turnip seed as a test, sprinkling the mix in the row and on top of the covered seed. We will see if that experiment works, if so I will save more wood ash next year. This bed was also covered with a row cover to thwart the bunnies.
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My son says I should sit out there with my .22 and dispatch them and eat them. Unfortunately, I don’t like rabbit and I couldn’t clean them if I succeeded in shooting one. I will continue to deter them with row cover and maybe once I get the electric fence charged to keep the deer and dogs out, I will string plastic bunny fence around the vegetable garden.

I couldn’t get cabbage starts at our local nursery, they were all sold out, but Lowes just got theirs in yesterday afternoon and a scored a flat of 9.  This morning they were planted. , Now it’s time to thin the raspberries, harvest and preserve for the winter.

Life is an adventure on our mountain farm.