||[Sep. 29th, 2019|09:05 am]
Near blizzard conditions and record snow in Montana; Lorenzo Cat 5 and as far east as a Cat 5 has been known to roam. We've had 0.63" of rain this month, so far, with 0.61" of that from Dorian.
Yesterday i drained the whole rain tank into the garden. I don't know if the green beans are failing because i let them get too dry or if it's their time. If they perk up, it will be clear, but if they don't there will be the question of whether it was too late.
The okra i planted in July are setting fruit. I might be lucky and get a month's worth from them.
I sulked most of the day. I went out to sharpen the blades on the wood chipper, but found that the bolts are put on too tight for me to get off with a hand wrench. I can get my socket wrench on one, and removed that, but the other two don't have clearance for the socket wrench.
I then puttered around the yard but i was hot and miserable. And i didn't keep hydrated: in retrospect, that was probably part of the issue. I ended up netflix binging on Haven, which i had watched ages ago.
Hmm- i spent time thinking about getting someone with the right tools to come over... but there are those wrenches that have holes like sockets. I don't need a whole set, but if i got the one that would fit these specific nuts.... Lowes it is.
I hope i have a more engaged day today and can get prepared for the work week.
Gardening lessons from the year:
Tomatoes: the big slicers need SIGNIFICANT support. Buy those plants and ask Dad for his cages. For the grape tomatoes and salad tomatoes, use grocery store tomatoes start those seeds. And there still may be volunteers. Hornworms are devastating on young plants, but after a while, the plants can handle it. The stupid stinkbugs are damaging, but if the plants are productive probably not a worry.
Basil: pick frequently, make pesto, vinegar (for dad), and basil oil.
Peppers: well, not going to put worm castings under plants again. I don't know why some thrived and some were stunted. But i've got a crop of bell peppers that may all come in at once. I'll probably dehydrate them all. We had one that had some odd damage in the salad last night.
Sweet corn: No.
Broom corn: Yes - growing beautifully behind Alice (the giant hen sculpture) despite little to no watering. I think the popcorn would have worked, too, if i'd started it earlier or it had been well watered. Not sure it would keep down the stilt grass.
Cucurbits: maybe on the island again?
Green beans: Yes. And neem during Japanese beetle season.
In the shelter of the green beans: start the lettuce much earlier.
Brassicas are nibbled to death over the summer -- wormwood, ha. Suddenly the pressure seems off and the few dead stalks seem to be coming back into their own. And maybe if i just use neem aggressively all summer the insect herbivory might not be so bad?
Also, while it was lovely to have the island of mustard flowers, i don't know that it was worth waiting for them to go to seed. If i'd planted summer plants earlier, i might have been able to have a decent cover crop to keep the stilt grass at bay.
Potatoes: sigh. Maybe splurge on more straw and really try the straw cultivation so i don't have to dig the things in sweltering heat?
Lemon grass: it grows well but i dunno what to do with it. I'm going to see if i can overwinter some in a pot.
Holy basil: i saved plants in a bag in the garage and then scattered the seed this spring. Where it sprouted it's doing great. I'm not sure i need to save the seed heads, though. I think i could just scatter seed in the fall. The catnip i seeded that way last year did beautifully. Maybe save some seed but also scatter in the fall. I haven't used it for anything except to grab the plants and rub them on my skin to repel the accursed Horse Fly. There don't seem to be many, but the bite HURTS. And the buzz adds a stressor that has me shrieking around the yard flailing my arms. Anyhow, i love the way it smells.
Shallots: i seem to at least get a shallot for each set. I'm not sure if i'm distinguishing the shallots from the Egyptian walking onions.
Sweet onions: Apparently to keep them from bolting they need more consistent watering and temperatures. Well, the flowers are pretty.
Dahlias: haven't tried eating flowers or roots yet. Everything else eats the flowers. And they don't seem to last as cut flowers. I'll try lifting some tubers and see if, given an advance on other plants, they do better next year.
Zinnas: YES. I adore the punch of color all summer and love to have them as cut flowers. I don't know how much in the patch are due to self seeding and how much from the previous year.
Sunflowers: i give up. The one i grew was so stunted and sad.
Worm bin: not really working for me. I think i'll try trench compost for a while.