Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Frost's A-Comin'

I woke up this morning to find the temperature outside hovering between 1 and 2 degrees.  The next few nights are forecast to dip to 0 - 3 degrees, depending on which report you read.  To be on the safe side, I decided to cover the winter squash and tomatoes.  These pictures were taken around 6:00pm, as the sun was starting to go down, so they are a little grainy.

 South side tomatoes, all tucked in...

...as well as the sprawling cherry tomatoes in the potato patch.

Within five minutes of finishing, Bea showed up to see what all these clean sheets were doing in the garden.

A minute after that, so did Lou.

I walked back toward the house, confident that they would follow.  They did, but just as we were about to go into the house, they spotted more sheets and...

Hello, what's this!  Will it hold me...?

Opps. Almost dropped into the tomato cage...

Their frost-cover-fort exploration complete, kitties are now inside snoozing, one on the computer chair, and one on the bed.  :)

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Crookneck Surprise

This black and orange (and very fast-moving) butterfly graced my marigolds with it's presence yesterday, first stopping at the ones in the north garden...

...and then settling for a moment on the ones growing along the south side of the house.

South side beds

Tomatoes, jalapenos, a bit of mint, and a sunflower beneath the plant room widow.

This is the first time in years that more than just a handful of tomatoes are ripening on the plants.

Our kitty, Lou, coming out for a visit!  She is the more timid of our cats and usually prefers to stay indoors. 

This is our biggest sunflower this summer.  Not that tall (~5 feet) but the head is huge!

Some jalapeno peppers I picked the other day.

I planted some Early Crookneck squash in late May/early June as an afterthought/space-filler.  I don't know what possessed me, but I planted four of them in a (~3' x 3') square raised bed.  By mid-summer, the plants looked healthy but they were only producing male flowers. For weeks.  I finally pulled three of the plants out, thinking it was probably too late in the season for the remaining plant to produce any squash.  I was wrong!  Here is one side of the plant...

...and here is the other.  There are six squash growing on this side (one is hidden by a leaf).  Every description I have ever read about this variety mentions how prolific it is.  Now, I see why!  If I had planted the original four in a larger bed, with more space between them, I think I would have been able to supply half the town with squash, at this point.


The winter squash bed (Galeux D'Eysines).

This one's a keeper.  There is another growing at the end of the bed that is just as large and warty.   *Wondering how much it would cost to FedEx one of these babies from northern BC to Halifax...  Hee hee!*

Love the sunflowers.  Loathe the gnatty black flies. (Click for a closer look.  Those things are stuck to everything in the garden. Arhg.)

The last dahlia plant to bloom.  Pale cream with hints of pink and yellow.  Very pretty.

Little Lou

Leaning in for whisker tickles.

The kale and parsley bed (tub) is still producing well.

Bea joined us.

Tracking bugs under the apple tree.

Watching her sister...

Back in the house, ready for a snooze, Lou seems okay with her cat tree temporarily doubling as Dry Bean Central.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Greeting September

September has arrived.  This is what the North garden looks like today.  This morning, I pulled out the string bean plants and composted a few of the Early Annie tomato plants that were against the fence.  The tomatoes were starting to ripen, but the plant themselves were dried up.  I picked the tomatoes and will ripen them indoors.  All that is left now are marigolds, a large yellow sunflower, Ruby Eclipse sunflowers, a potted dahlia, and Tiger Eye beans. 

Jalapeno peppers

Big sunflower on the south side of the house.

Black Krim tomatoes

Bonny Best tomatoes

Some bees enjoying the "South-Side Sunflower".

Bea joined me as I did my rounds outside.


Raised beds along the north side of the driveway. The Galeux D'Eysines squash (I recently discovered that some people call these, 'Peanut Pumpkins') are starting to develop their warts in earnest. 

Heritage Mix heirloom dry beans

Gelber Englischer Custard squash

It is the season of the Annoying Swarming Black Flies.  I have always referred to them as gnats (usually through a clenched jaw and scowl, trying to spit them out from between my teeth) but read online recently that they are aphids. (Adult aphids?)  Whatever they are, the air is filled with clouds of them for several weeks at this time of year, and they stick to everything - flowers, leaves, vegetables, our hair, clothes, the car...you get the idea.  I hope the mild weather we have been having continues (I don't think it has been cooler than 7 above overnight so far) but I will not miss these bugs once the heavy frosts hit.

Cattle beans, Meteor zinnias, and 3 not-exceptionally-productive cucumber plants.

Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye tomatoes

The potato patch looks raggedy this year.  It is full of grass and weeds (they were not all removed when the patch was tilled in the Spring.  If you want something done right, do it yourself...), the potato plants are small, and the Speckled Algonquin (dry/bush) beans are stunted.  The cherry tomatoes and Meteor zinnias on the side are doing well, though.  I am curious to see how the potatoes fared when we dig them up later this month.

Ajvarski peppers.  These are sweet frying peppers that are supposed to be red. 

Bea, supervising as I go to fill a watering can from the rain barrel.

Happy.  Look at those whiskers.  :)

Our apples are ripening nicely.  I can smell the apple crisp already.


Mazarini tomatoes

Purple Cherokee tomatoes

A bit of rosemary

Beautful Bea