Garden and House Notes

It was in the 70s the weekend before last. So of course, I was away, and therefore had to put the garden to bed in 30’s November weather yesterday. I suppose it could have been worse – I did see the forecast, so avoided doing it today in the 20 degree wind chill and snow showers.

But in much more interesting news, after signing up for it in April, we finally got our solar panels installed! We’re not hooked to the grid quite yet, but we’ve powered ourselves during the day for the past two days. (We have an app where we can track our usage vs what we’re generating – that thing is addictive to watch.) I’m so excited to be using a local energy source, and to be on our way to not having to pay anything out to the electric company.

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Garden Notes

We have had frost the last two mornings, so today’s gardening was done in the afternoon, after things warmed up. (It’s gorgeous right now – we have all the south facing windows open to take advantage of the 60-degree temps.)

The big thing for today – the trellis is down. This was mostly done so I could easily plant garlic to the right of it. (There are green stakes around the corners of that part of the bed, just so I can tell where it is before things start coming up in the Spring.) I’ve put the cloves from two locally grown heads in there, so we’ll see how that goes.

The trellis is not fully put away yet because of the runner beans. Today’s note to self: if I grown beans against the trellis again next year, string that side with twine that I can cut away. I like to store the green netting inside, so I’m having to unwind all the bean stems before I can do that. I got about half of them done, but I just do not have that much patience. Fortunately, I guess, this year’s bean crop wasn’t really that good. I don’t want to picture unwinding a whole side of beans.

I also pulled out the marigolds – they were looking pretty ratty. The brassicas and calendula are still going strong.

And finally, here we have the two dahlias I’m going to try and overwinter in the garage. The one on the right is the seed grown larger one – the tubers are not the biggest. The left is a red bedding dahlia I also grew from seed. I figure if it survives, it’ll look good out front.

Garden Notes

Well, it happened. There was a frost last night. I spent a good chunk of time today pulling out the zinnias, zucchini, peppers, basil, tomatoes and some of the tender annuals.

I had been planning on pulling out the tomatoes this weekend anyway – the ones that weren’t splitting just weren’t very nice anymore. But man, does sit look empty.

Here’s the final zucchini harvest – pulled from the carcasses.

The front bed doesn’t look too different – I pulled out the smaller bedding dahlias and one of the low growing blue flowers. I also brought the fuchsia out back. It’s not totally dead yet, but definitely not something I want in the front bed anymore.

The large dahlia actually came through pretty well. The flowers that were fully in bloom blasted, but it must not have been a very hard frost, because the partially open flowers seem to be fine. I’m still going to start the clock on curing this to dig it out, but I’m impressed.

Garden Notes

I swore no more dahlias after I realized I no longer had a way to store them. (With the heat pump install last year, we now have to keep our back room’s door open to get heat in there. It used to just be the end of the line of our furnace circuit, which kept it in the 50s if we shut the door.) But I’d gotten a packet of mystery seeds with my preorder of Floret Farm’s Discovering Dahlias, so I decided to go for it. Three of those six seedlings made it outside, but only this one bloomed. (I feel in good company – Monty Don’s dahlia on Gardener’s World have also suffered with this year’s heat and drought.)

I may try to save this anyway. I’m thinking of packing the tubers in vermiculite and putting that in our large cooler out in the garage. If it gets really cold (like below the 20’s), I can bring them in for the night. I do like this dahlia, but it won’t break my heart if I lose it, so I figure, why not?

Garden Notes

So, remember that pile of mulch we got delivered the beginning of the week in April I ended up coming down with Covid? Yep, just finally spread the rest of it out. It’s a little lumpy, because the roots of the arborvitae next to it had started to grow into it. Oops! So I’ll have to tackle it a few more times with the rake. But at least the tarp is no longer hanging out in that corner.

Garden Notes

The garden is doing pretty well – I’ve been making decent dinners with our produce. The heat probably wasn’t the best for it, but I was at able to keep the food alive. I had to top the tomatoes today – they’re putting on a ton of new growth that can’t all ripen if I leave it.

I’m going to go back to hot peppers next year. I don’t know if was the conditions or not, but the two snacking bell peppers I tried just don’t seem to be worth the effort.

I also realized I need to not block the zinnias with peas next year – whatever I want in the second half of the pea bed need to go in front.

Garden Notes

Well, step #1 toward our solar installation is done. The tree on the east side of the house is down. I don’t take cutting down a tree lightly, but this was a junky tree – that side of the house is constantly littered with small branches. Plus, it’s a Norway maple, so it’s been sucking all the nutrients out of the ground there since it sprouted.

So now we’ll be doing a little wait and see to see what it’s going to be like over there. The neighbor’s fence means it takes a little while for the sun to get there in the morning, but it does seem to get a fair amount of sun for a chunk of the afternoon. So there’s a possibility for more garden space there. Or, it’s a place we could put some sort of evening gathering spot – it’s way better shaded at dinnertime than our deck currently is.

Garden Notes

The garden’s coming along very nicely – it filled in quite a bit while I was gone.

Of course the bad of being away for a week is that my peas went over while I was gone, so I didn’t really get to use those quite as well as I would have liked to. So those have been pulled out. The plan is to get garlic in there in a few months. I’m thinking of some hopefully quick growing things I can put in there in the meantime, but we’re in the middle of a heat wave, so that’ll wait until after this heat breaks, at the least. Nothing I have in mind is going to like what’s currently going on outside.

Garden Notes

The garden is coming along nicely. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this on the blog, but our woodchuck problem is gone for the moment. Our chuck sadly did not make it when attempting to cross the main road nearby, and so far, no one seems to have moved in his territory. So we have a reprieve for the moment.

The peas are ready to harvest. (I’m saving those for my niece, who should hopefully still be able to come over after arriving today from CA. They’re much delayed at this point, but on the final flight.). The zucchini has flowers, and that pepper appeared out of thin air yesterday.

Garden Notes

We have peas!

In woodchuck news, we left the house last Saturday, and turned onto the main road we’re just two houses in from, and there was a very dead woodchuck in the middle of the road. It had the right coloring to be ours, and we haven’t seen hide nor hair of any sort of woodchuck since then, so I think we have a reprieve for at least a little while. We never thought he lived here, so hopefully no one else moves into the territory and decides it would be a great place to live.

I feel bad – it is their home too, and so far, he’d left my plants alone. Poor thing.