Friday, July 2, 2010

Chilly days....

Well, nothing much going on really.  We did catch a woodchuck in the Havahart trap.  It is no longer in our neighborhood.

We plan to keep the trap baited and will continue to remove any other woodchucks that we happen to capture.

Thursday was rather cool outside (this entry was begun Thursday evening and its now Friday am). My oldest daughter remarked that it felt like Fall, and it really did!  It got into the high 60's, but i think that may have been as high as it went, that i noticed at any rate.  Its pretty chilly this morning still.

I went to Home Depot to get chicken wire and the inside of the store was hotter than the outside.

Last night the overnight lows went down to about 48. It seems strange, but weather is like that sometimes, but i do wish it would warm back up within reason. My corn looks like it just might reach the "knee high by the Fourth of July" standard.

I did another order of seeds through Pinetree.  Remember i said i'm considering specializing in Kale?
Yeah, so i got a couple ornamental types and some bred for eating.  The ornamental is said to be fairly good for eating and if i grow it in the flower beds or garden at least it will look pretty.  Not relying on it being tasty, but i think a nice row of edible kale flanked by pretty kale might be a cheerful sight one frosty morning.

I got some Purple Sprouting Broccoli too.
And they had a close-out on their Hopi Blue Dent corn that i have wanted to try for a number of years.  I decided that if this year my sweet corn does not make it through the season i would start growing either ornamental or 'meal' corns.
I also got a packet of Podcorn, which is an ornamental type in a sort of breeding throwback, it has husks on each kernel, more like its earlier ancestry.
They are also having a closeout on their Banana Legs tomato. Its supposed to be a pretty good paste type and we prefer paste tomatoes here.  I keep growing salad tomatoes because i can't resist all the different types, but when it comes down to it, our salads and sandwiches taste best with sliced paste tomatoes. Types like Pear Tomatoes get eaten like grapes.
I found they had seeds for  San Marzano Tomatoes,  they are supposed to be the very best paste tomato- ever.  But not very disease resistant.  But i decided to try them.

I got some red cabbage and some green cabbage and some Saltwort to try and i got seeds for Leeks and Rue.
 I also grabbed some Beit Alpha, Spacemaster and Boston Pickling cukes. I was going to be out of my cucumber seed stash for next year and according to some sources it is not too late to plant cukes up here. I may try it.

I also saw they had a really good price on a book called "The 64 Dollar Tomato"  which sounds amusing and fascinating and maybe a little more familiar than i'd like to admit .....  so, looking forward to reading that!

I got some Kossack Kholrabi.  I wasn't very impressed with the Early Purple Vienna i had.  They need to be harvested small... and the ones i had to rescue from the woodchucks were only a little bit smaller than ideal...  but considering it takes the same effort and spacing to plant Kossack....  why harvest something quarter sized when i can get baseball sized veggies.   The EPV were very pretty and i might plant them just for color, but its like chopping down a redwood for a toothpick.

Oh, i didn't do very well by those cuttings i got a couple weeks ago.  They looked like they were doing fine, nice and green. But literally overnight, some went brown and crisp.  The mulberries look like they might yet hang on and one hardy kiwi cutting is still going. A couple each of the cherries and cranberries look ok-ish still.  But the Raspberries were looking fine and then poof.  But that's the way it can go with cuttings, sometimes they do awesome and sometimes they just sit there and give up.  I once tried rooting some Kaffir Lime cuttings i took in attempt to save the plant i had and they lingered for 6 months and suddenly gave up.  No roots at all.
But i have some berry seeds and i looked up what to do with them, i just need to find the time to do it. :o)

So as far as the actual garden goes, there isn't much going on. Things are simply growing,  and growing well.
I keep pulling out a few weeds here and there, i plan to plant some more beans somewhere in there, maybe try again with some herbs.
Hopefully the woodchucks will go into the Havahart instead of my garden.

Oh, yeah. The chicken wire i bought.
I think i will use the buried fence idea.
I got 2' x 50' fencing.  So i can bury the bottom half in a way that flares it out away from the garden. About 2-3 inches from the top of the fence, i can run one strand of electrified wire to repel climb-overs.
I plan to use the Mantis Tiller to loosen up the soil so i can bury the fence. I should be able to till, then simply scoop the dirt off to the side, set the fence in then cover it.  I bought more PVC to use as non-conductive posts so i don't have to play with insulators.  The PVC will be sturdy enough to stand a number of years.  I will drill small holes into the PVC and use cotter pins to attach the chicken wire and the hot wire.  The height should not be too tall for me to step over comfortably, though it might be pushing it.  I may have to lay the fence out far enough away so i have a whole width of space in the front just for walking to and from each row.  I can't straddle the 4' growing rows.  I'll work out the details as i'm doing the project. I can't add too much space since i only have 150' of chicken wire and my garden is about130' around.  Not a lot of room for error.

I might begin today or next week sometime. I have a lot of house stuff to do.  Laundry sorting.  Whatever no longer fits or no longer gets worn needs to go to GoodWill or Salvation Army.  But it needs to be washed and dried first, ideally it should get folded too.  But its really booooring  to do.


Faith said...

YAY! You got yourself a varmit!

I was wondering about those cuttings, thanks for posting the report. I took cherry cuttings to try to root here, at the same time, and just in the last couple of days they did the same thing. We'll keep trying. :o)

We had a cool night at well. I loved it! We were outside about midnight and the air actually felt like COOL air. YaHOO! It might have gotten down close to 60 degrees.

Not much has been going on outdoors here either, mostly maintenance.

Could you not find the seeds for Sea Kale, or is using their shopping cart difficult? I have always ordered through the mail with them using the catalog they send.

I'm looking at your list of stuff you gotta remember. I don't remember seeing it before. I would love to have a root cellar, but in the south they don't work as well as up north. I hope you get one. I loved Elliot Coleman's Gardening Naturally show in which on one episode he showed how to build one and pre-cool it.

My leeks are doing really well. I ended up buying, for three dollars, a peat pot that had hundreds in it, about 6 inches tall. I didn't have a lot of hope for them, after having to rip them all apart from one another, but I've got a decent crop of leeks out there that I hope will provide soup for me all winter.


icebear said...

I think it was the shopping cart that was weird, or the whole 3 catalogs thing, shopping cart, 5 pages of instructions and having to juggle PDF catalog with website and item numbers not being clickable. I'm sure i'm doing it wrong cause its obvious that enough people besides me can figure it out well enough to let FedCo stay in business! lol

I do plan to ask them to send me some print catalogs for 2011. I want to see what apple & fruit trees they carry.

On the cuttings, i wish i did them better justice, but i'm going to make sure it dosen't bother me too much. I really do let myself get depressed too easily. I need to start my St. John's Wort again i think. :o)

It really is the season for maintenance. Its not so much that its boring, but i try to avoid being repetitive. I am also a creature of habit and if i fall out of the habit of doing something i tend to not get back to it. Where this is a journal i will regret leaving time gaps if i find the need to check back and remind myself of a technique, weather anomaly or a specific plant type. Of course there is always some challenge for me to meet out here, woodchucks being a prime example... i always have something to remind myself of, even if it is not quite exciting. :o)

I had a lot of stuff on my sidebar- the Seed Stash that made it difficult to see anything else so when i removed it and made a post of it, it allows other gadgets to get noticed.
I wish Amazon allowed borrowing of Kindle editions. If i had "Rootcellaring" in a paper copy i'd mail it to you to borrow. There were a few techniques described in the book that you may find useful. If you have a conveniently located library i recommend checking it out.

Mmmm... potato leek soup? That was a favorite of mine. I use pureed or mashed cauliflower as a potato substitute now, but i bet i could still make a great mock potato leek soup with some fresh leeks.

I enjoyed the cool nights here too, but we have such a short season as it is, i almost prefer the heat for my garden's sake. But the breath of cool air after a bunch of days with 75% humidity and hot weather was welcome in the end. Its supposed to get in the high 80's this weekend. Eep!