Worms and Flowers

Proof of Autumn

Posted in Garden by Lzyjo on December 27, 2008

The leaves are changing color and we have been savoring the beautiful fall days of cloudless blue skies and low humidity.

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The first frost hit on Monday and Tuesday, last week. Right on target for the last week of October.

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Everything in the garden survived the first night of 30 degree temperatures, but the second night left a thick white killing frost on the ground.

The garden is total carnage and a lot more work.Photobucket

It seems like our Zone Seven growing season is just too short to have seed mature on Sabdariffa. I started the seeds in February, although I may have planted them out a bit late, so I can’t discount the possibility. I bought the seeds from Trade Winds Fruit and I have seen other vendors, which I can’t think of right now, offering Hibiscus Sabdariffa seed also.

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I’m sorry to say, one thing I am glad was killed by the frost, is the eggplants! Oh Boy! I’m sure some of you had had similar experiences with vegetables that are less than popular, thriving, in fact, out-producing everything else in the garden! What happened was, I harvested the first few a bit too late. According to the seed packet eggplants are ready to harvested when the flesh is firm and the skin shiny. Well, they were unbelievably bitter and we ended-up being afraid to ever eat them again. I threw out so many it was a truly ridiculously amount.

The frost killed the potatoes, so I’m just waiting a few weeks for the skins to toughen up before I dig. I’ve been dreaming of potatoes, cooked every way imaginable.

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The frost exposed some real monsters growing under the brush. Here is a ridge gourd at least 18″ long (they can grow up to two feet) next to the watering can for perspective.

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Where there is death there is also new life, or at least fennel, spinach, lettuce, cauliflower, and cabbage.

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It really is Autumn now, I can’t go on denying it. The harsh reality of Autumn is all the pests trying to enter to house to find a safe hiding for the coming Winter. Although I love living in the country, Autumn means dutifully setting mouse traps and putting out poison. In fact just the other day, a cockroach wandered in from out of nowhere (or somewhere!), I haven’t seen one in over a year. The lady bugs are also going crazy, assaulting ever door and window in the house, looking for a winter hiding place.

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Autumn and Winter also mean learning from my past gardening mistakes, which included an unmanageable onslaught on green beans that made me learn the importance of succession planting, the misery of hybrid corn, which is not meant to be grown organically, and problems with sweet peppers from fluctuating soil moisture levels. I’m formulating a plan right now, to make sure I won’t make the same mistakes and dreaming of future, more bountiful, harvests.

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