Green Thumb Up My Nose

Garden Report for 121022

Ferocious weather this week. Winds gusting to 50, highs never hit 60, and the lows bounced around near freezing.Rain at the start. Rain at the end. Snow in the forecast.

Tuesday night was to be another freezing night, maybe, but the winds were high enough that any cover would likely blow off. I decided this would be the really truly last harvest but one.  On the pot tomatoes, I harvested anything that wasn’t green: about 2lbs. In the KHG, I harvested anything I could see. I figured if I couldn’t see it, it might be covered enough to survive a light frost. That netted me 12lbs of green tomatoes, plus a couple light orange ones. No KHG tomato has fully ripened as yet. So, those 12lbs go in the living room, and I brought back from there another 2lbs of an earlier pick that had ripened.

You have two weeks to eat this before it spoils. Go!

Friday was more cold and gusty winds, with rain and snow in the forecast, highs in the lower 40’s, lows bouncing along freezing. Time for another harvest. Nothing much on the pot tomatoes. Maybe a dozen. Filled up a cubic foot gardening bag with stuff off the KHG. Some orange-red, most green, and a handful of ones that looked like they’d been raised by Morlocks – pale pinkish white. Maybe ’cause they got no sun (although there were nicely orange ones next to them). First bag, 25lbs. Second bag, 12lbs. I could have gotten more, but I didn’t want to risk the squash vines that are still feeding the spaghetti and buttercup squash. I also didn’t bother with any that were less than plum sized. I didn’t throw them out if they were on a bunch, but I didn’t pick them if they were alone. I didn’t like that, and I thought about all the starving children in Omak as I crunched the discarded tomatoes underfoot, but triage is a harsh mistress.

So far, counting today, I have harvested 90-100lb of tomatoes, of which, about 50lb are still green.

Leaves are mostly down from the trees, and I’ve been sticking a layer of leaves and a layer of green in the KHG baskets. The green is mostly tomato trimmings, because the hanging baskets and the deck pots have stopped producing, so I’m cutting them back. I’m trying to figure out the best way to compost this stuff. There’s far too much for the KHG baskets.

I also picked the last sizable summer squash. The few remaining are cocktail-sized. I am leaving the other squash out to see how they do. Meanwhile, the chard is growing like mad (my aggressive countermining ops helped), but the wind has brought down most of the corn, perhaps helped by the critters.

The local Ben Franklin store – what my old mother (godrestersoul) would call a five and dime – is going out of business after twenty years. More on that in another post. We went down to see what we could scavenge, and came back with a bunch of unpeat pots for next years plantings. We also came back with a stack of steel rod shelving. Four big shelves (3x5ft), four half that size, and a couple of in-betweeners, all for $15. This is solid stuff — the big ones weigh in at 18lb each. Why do I mention it? Because I’m using them to build a composting cage.

One man’s junk is another man’s compost cage

Something I can fill up with the rest of the cuttings, and tumble about, rather than having to dig over. I tied the four big ones together with zip ties, then used bolt-cutters to trim the half-sizers so they can be zip-tied to the ends. The whole thing ended up weighing about 90lbs, empty. I filled it with layers of leaves, then tomato clippings, then more leaves, then cornstalks, etc

Just like a lasagne

I plan to lay it on its side, once full, and roll it from one long side to the other, like a bored Victorique de Blois. And yes, I know that when I lay it over, the layers turn into vertical strata. This is still in beta-test mode.

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