Friday, September 26, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Potato Harvest

26 degrees at 4:00pm this afternoon.  Sleet and snow last week, sunburn this week.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

There's Always The Root Vegetables...

A chilly, misty morning.  It was -2 when I looked out at 7:30am and it reached -5 overnight, according to online sources.  

Last night, I covered the turnips, beets, and two rows of dry beans I'm trying to save.  The leeks and carrots should be fine.  Temps are supposed to bounce back up to low 20's this weekend, so we'll know better then what made it through the cold snap.  I predict a marathon potato digging session and a whole lot of garden clean-up in our near future.

A moment of silence for the squash plant...

Banana (fingerling) potatoes and a large tomato plant.

Potatoes are looking a little rough.

The turnips were covered with a burlap bag.  They're cold hardy, but better safe than sorry.

My dry beans (Vermont Cranberry).  I haven't dared to look under the sheet yet.

Butters showed up to help me assess the damage.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Snow Harvest

Picked yesterday, in the snow.

On the step, a bell pepper plant (an "early" hybrid that turned out not to be early enough), a chili pepper plant, a bucket of assorted green tomatoes, a small cucumber, and a cabbage.  Not shown are two more buckets of green tomatoes I had already taken into the house!

In the bowl and small bucket, a mix of Opalka, Moskvich, Red Brandywine, Paul Robeson, and Emerald Evergreen tomatoes.  In front, a little Red Kuri squash, and a Sweet Meat squash (just over 16 lbs).

I love this squash.  Has a personality all it's own.

I am leaving the beets, turnips, carrots, and leeks where they are.  I trust they will be able to handle a little more cold weather.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Autumn in Zone 2

Whether this area lands in 2a or 2b seems to be a matter of debate in some circles.  All I know is, it's "2 Cold".

It has been snowing and drizzling all morning.  The furnace is on.  I went out around 7:30am to check on things and take a few pictures.  Sections of the sheets I used for cover had blown off the peppers and tomatoes.  The sheets were wet, so now they are frozen stiff in angular shapes.  

One pepper plant was completely exposed and covered with ice.  I pulled it, wrapped the roots in a plastic bag, and hung it in the laundry room.  Some of the other peppers and my one big squash might be next to come in.  We'll see how the day progresses.

The temperature is currently at zero (the "feels like" temperature is -5).  Tonight and tomorrow night are predicted to be colder.

On a positive note, another one of my big sunflowers is opening.

My Canadian Wild Goose beans, pretty much zapped.

The kitties are in hibernation mode.

Karl, the neighbour's cat...

...Saj, our cat...

...and Butters, the other neighbour's cat!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Statements of Fact

#1 - It has been snowing (mixed with rain) for the last hour and a half.

#2 - Evening temperatures below zero are forecast for the next 4 nights.

#3 - At the moment, this feels like a supremely shitty place to garden.

I spent much of yesterday and today harvesting what I could and trying to protect the rest.  I brought in the last zucchini, 3 cucumbers, 2 mini eggplants, and the handful of ripe tomatoes. I pulled up three varieties of dry bush beans (Black Coco, Beka Brown, and Molasses Face) that were mature and starting to dry, and have hung them in the plant room and laundry room.  The other two varieties (Vermont Cranberry and Canadian Wild Goose) are not yet mature enough to pick and dry indoors, so we'll see how they have fared at the end of this week.  I also dug up a few Golden and Detroit Red beets, planted them in buckets, and brought them inside.  I'll replant them outdoors in the Spring.  Hopefully, they will produce lots of seed for me to use and trade.

Early this afternoon, when it was raining and the temperature started to drop, I - perhaps stupidly - dragged in the three determinate tomato plants I had growing in large pots.  R. is in Nanaimo for a week (I'll bet it's not snowing there today...) so it was down to me to lug anything I wanted to protect inside.  I will know within a few hours what effect that move has had on my back.  *cue ominous organ music*

I headed out around 4:30pm to start covering what I could with sheets, pillow cases, and floating row cover.  It's a good thing I did.  Within 5 minutes, the wind picked up and it started to snow.  I quickly picked two buckets of green tomatoes, left a bunch on the plants with fingers crossed they'll get through the next few cool nights, and covered the plants.  The floating row cover on the raised beds along the driveway kept blowing off.  Karl found that exciting and dove underneath it when it blew onto the ground, tunneling his way from one end to the other before sprinting full speed up the driveway.  There he sat under a tree, out of the rain, watching me attempt to save a bunch of cherry tomato plants, an eggplant (give it up, Dawn...), and a few peppers.

Karl followed me inside when I was finished.  He is sleeping on a towel on the sofa.  My knees and back are aching and I'm still drying off.  I think a mug of hot cocoa and the liberal application of Icy Hot Rub are in order.

Here is the (crowded) plant room, with two Eva Purple Ball tomatoes, one Yellow Taxi tomato, and beans in pop flats and hanging from the ceiling.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Early September 2014

South side of the house.

Corn, Sweet Meat squash (green) and Red Kuri squash (orange).

Poor Eggplant.  I think frost got it, or else it loathes the cool nights we have had lately.  This (Ping Tung) was the largest and healthiest eggplant I had, yet produced only one eggplant before the days started getting shorter.

Eva Purple Ball tomatoes.  The ripest one unfortunately has blossom end rot.  Arhg Hoping the others ripen soon.  If they do, I will probably grow these next year.  Like the Yellow Taxis, they are cute, blemish-free (for the most part) and determinate.  They are supposed to be an early variety, but I find most early varieties grown here don't ripen all that much before other varieties.

The last batch of carrot I sowed (i.e, the ones that actually "took"!).  If September is warm, we might get a few more home-grown carrots. 

Our first batch of apples from our young apple tree (Battleford).

The Russian Giant has opened!

A dahlia.