Saturday, September 26, 2009

no frost

My tomatoes and peppers survived the cold -- it doesn't look like I got a frost here, but it was close.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Frost on the way?

We have a frost warning this evening, so I covered my tomatoes and peppers with my portable cold-frames.  I just harvested my first cucumber today and my first two tomatoes in the past two days, so  I hope I can extend their season a bit.  I only have maybe three more cukes on the vine, and four more tomatoes, but I've waited so long for them I'd hate to lose them now.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Drought; suprise tomatoes

I've been watering regularly this past week, not just the new perennials I've planted this year, but just about everything -- we've gone from a wet early summer to a drought this past month.  I almost lost my new fothergilla (since recovered) and a new hydrangea due to the last of moisture.  I also want to drain my rain barrels before winter, so all the watering hasn't added anything to my water bills.  I still have lots in bloom, both perennials and annuals, and I want them to last as long as possible.

I'm about to pick the first of my tomatoes, as they are starting to ripen.  I also found a cherry tomato plant in my front garden where I did not expect it.  If I recall, I lost track of some of my spring seedlings, and may have planted a tomato plant where I thought I was planting a hollyhock.  It got lost amid the catnip and roses and obedient plant, but this morning, lo and behold, I saw some cherry tomatoes on it.  Free food!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

cold frame; moving things around; signs of fall

I finally finished putting together the cold frame I received a while back from Charley's Greenhouse. 

I'll put it over my new planter when the weather gets a little colder.  (In the meantime, I may cover my peppers and/or tomatoes for the next few weeks to get a little more life out of them.)

I also moved some plants around:  I put my chives (which I never harvest, for some reason) in the parking strip, and bookended the parking strip with some mums that I rescued from the compost pile at Skillin's.  They'll only last a few more days, but I'll take 'em.

My mustard has sprouted in my new planter, and the spinach and carrots should be out in the next few days.

Signs of Fall:  my New England asters have opened, the New York ones not yet (or vice versa, I can't remember which are which).  I've seen some of my muscari (grape hyacinth) sprouting, as they tend to do in the fall (though no flowers).  And my perennial mums have formed buds, as has my sweet autumn clematis .

Other than that, I'm just watching my summer garden slowly fade.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

new planter

I got to spend most of this beautiful day today building a new planter aside my deck (a companion to the other I built earlier this summer).  This planter gets more sun than the other (it's right next to the raised bed), so I've decided to use it for growing vegetables.  It's a good 30 square feet, so there's room to plant a lot.  After building it and filling it with soil (and composted cow manure), I sowed carrots, spinach, and mustard.  It's a great time to plant those crops, and if it looks like we'll get an early frost, I'll cover them.  Recently I purchased a small greenhouse (3 ft deep by 5 ft wide by 3 ft tall), and it'll fit nicely over the planter, giving me an easy means to cover my crops and grow food until -- well, we'll see:  I'm hoping at least til Thanksgiving.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cutting things back, starting things anew

I got to spend a good hour this evening in the gardening, doing some general cleaning up, as well as planting some seed starts.

I cut back all my yarrow, whose heads were quite an unsightly brownish-black.  A few have rebloomed, so I kept those, but I cut the rest back to their basal foliage so that it now looks like I have a smooth field of ferns.

The seedlings I started a month or so ago were large enough to put out into the garden, so I planted some echinacea, canterbury bells and columbine into the main garden, and in the parking strip planted scabiosa, asclepius, and jupiter's beard.  Though I prefer watering in the morning, I then watered everything in.  

I love this temperate weather!