We had our first hard frost of the season last night, it looks like it dropped down to around 29 degrees. The weather service is saying that it will be down to about 26 tomorrow morning.
The chile plants that weren't under a tunnel have been pulled up and aging in the garage for a couple of weeks now, and the tomatoes and tomatillos have been looking pretty sad as well.
This year I got low tunnels over 2 of the chile beds, and it looks like most of them survived last night, but I kinda doubt that I will be as lucky tonight if it makes it down to 26.
I'm not complaining about the frost though, for the last 2 years, the first killing frost was in September.
Well, I finally got all my tomatoes, chiles and eggplant all in the ground, and only a couple of weeks late.
I had far more plants germinate and survive than I had expected, so I had to finish up a couple of planting beds. Between Laurie's dad dying and a whole lot of rainly days, those beds just didn''t het done in time.
And now that the beds are in, I need to build the low tunnels over them and put in the drip lines. I also have to cut up another roll of remesh to make another batch of tomato cages. Oh yeah, there is still plenty of weeding left to do as well.
Today, I have a huge list of little things that I need to get done, but on the top of that list is to figure out what seeds I need to order, and get at least one of the orders in.
Last year I took way too long and totally missed the February planting date for my broccoli starts. Hell, I even ended up starting my tomatoes and chiles later than I wanted. I really want to avoid having that happen again.
I also want to try some different vendors than last year, just for the fun and variety of it. Last year it was pinetree Garden Seeds, Tough Love Chile Company and Totally Tomatoes. I also picked up some seeds locally from Territorial Seed, which is a catalog outfit down in Oregon that is stocked by several of the stores up here.
Okay, so it's only the Stokes seed catalog, and they tend a lot more towards the commercial grower and nursery market, but it still counts for something!
This is the sign that it is the start of the winter dreaming of next year garden season. A time for hibernating on the couch, covered with blankets, sipping hot chocolate and deciding on way too many different varieties to order.
Well, I would be hibernating except for the fact that my plan for this winter is to set up at least three more 18'x3' garden beds and two 24'x3' beds and turn two old boat trailer tents into cheap greenhouses. If I'm lucky I will finish half of that.
Recently on a few of the composting and compost tea listservs, there have been some questions about mushroom compost, and if it is any good. After looking around some, I have come to the conclusion that people tend to be either blindly in favor of it or dead set against it. Well, I'm here to tell you that they are both wrong!
Spent mushroom compost has many uses in the garden, and it does a wonderful job on improving the soil, but it ain't the same as adding good, high quality, living compost either.