Friday, December 19, 2014

Best Wishes

     Best wishes to you and yours in this holiday season. We will  talk again in the new year.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014


All the remaining veggies, cages, and paths are gone.
All that remains is re-tilling  when the soil is dry enough.

     Nature can be cruel, but she  also sometimes gives us a second  chance if we are ready for it. After weeks of freezing  temperatures, she gave us  highs close to 50 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday.

     While many of you were fighting through Black  Friday, I was trying  to take advantage of a surprise "Green Weekend."

     I have hundreds of feet of hoses,  all of which froze during the early polar temperatures.  Now I was able to drain them, coil them  all up, and put them in our old playhouse.

     I had made sure my rain barrels were only half full, but what was there was frozen solid, and this thaw gave me a chance to drain them. A full barrel will split open during a freeze. If you do not bring them into the garage, you should keep them drained and even cover them. I will have  more to say about rain barrels in the new year.

     Another chore last weekend was removing the landscape cloth in the aisles  of my veggie garden. This cloth is only marginally effective against weeds, so I do not recommend it to most clients. In a vegetable garden, however, it helps both to suppress weeds and to provide an un-muddy surface between rows.
Those of us who dash for one more tomato in the rain appreciate it.

     In the winter, however, the fabric adheres to the ice. The Thanksgiving thaw was just what I needed to remove it all. Then I spread all the remaining results of my composters. Normally I would till this into the soil while breaking down my raised beds. Now the soil  is too  wet, so that chore will have to  wait till next spring.

    I would also  like to  report my garden's last gasp of the season. Even after all the cold weather I was able to harvest my Brussels sprouts just before Thanksgiving. More important for many of you, I harvested green tomatoes on Halloween and put them in a shallow cardboard box in the pantry. I used the last of these on the day after Thanksgiving in a salad. My pantry tomatoes were not as good as those directly off the vine, but they were still much better than those in the supermarket.

     There is more to do. I have to cut down all  our perennials. But I have done some of this already and can do more on sunny days this winter.

     A little patience goes a long way.