Monday, October 7, 2019

The (garden) party's over.

We got walloped with below 30 on Friday night and that was it for the garden.  Am I the only one that did a happy dance when I realized it was kaput?  No matter how charged up I am in the spring, by October I am over it.  What a first world problem.

I had a surprise (another reason for a happy dance) visit by my BFF, so I took a half day off on Friday to beat a hasty retreat home so I could vacuum and raid the garden.  I picked everything that I thought would be usable, then tucked the kale, Swiss chard and herb bed under sheets for the night.  Sylvie took me out to dinner at the one (and only) wonderful local restaurant - true Mexican with the best fish tacos EVER. 

The house is festooned with flowers, both in containers and in pots:
My lovely Mandevilla
The fig tree looks like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, a drab little twig.  The Meyers Lemon looks good but has few lemons.  Not a surprise, as I had to do a major root trimming, repotting with it in the spring.  I covered the geraniums, but am loathe to pot them up and over-winter them in the house.  They take up a lot of space and I am always worried that Slimmie will start eating the leaves - even though they are kept in a room behind closed doors.

I have a box of green tomatoes, four zucchinis, three Bulgarian orange peppers, and a counter full of tomatoes in varying stages of ripeness.

I have quite a few pre-winter chores to do, but I am armed with my lists and will try to pick off at least one or two a day.  While I was out hanging up the washing, I decided to clean out the bluebird house.  Is this not the coolest thing?
Tidy Purple Martin nest on the bottom.
Total chaos of the Wren on the top.

One of the over-winter chores I will NOT have to do involves the turkeys.  They went to Marianne's farm yesterday and I am a happy woman.  I wouldn't have minded if they would have cohabited with the chickens, but oh, no.  No inside warm, dry shelter for them.  They much preferred to roost outdoors in the wind, rain and cold.  I swear we've bred the sense right out of them.

Saturday was a little too exciting, with the spotting of an obviously rabid raccoon.  While I was on high alert - following his erratic path, searching for my .22, I was also so sorry for him/her.  What a terrible disease.  By the time I was locked and loaded, he was gone.  I called all the neighbors to have them be on their toes, but no one has seen him.  Poor bugger.

Sunday afternoon, I beat feet out to the garden and yoinked up all the plants that were hit by the frost.  I'm down to Swiss chard and kale.  At this point, the kale is pretty tough, so I am leaving it to its own devices, while I repurposed the cucumber trellis over the Swiss chard so that I can tent it with plastic and try to stretch it into the winter.  I had wanted to plant arugula and spinach in the cold frame but have not done it, not having had the time, with one thing and another.  Next weekend I plant the garlic and cross my fingers.  It will be nice to put the garden to bed for the winter.


Leigh said...

Wow, we finally made it down to 59 the night (blessed relief!!!). I'm so not ready for freezing temps. Very interesting about the bird house.

Joanne Noragon said...

Your mandevilla is more beautiful than any of the three I had outdoors this summer. I attribute their sort of scraggly appearance to the fact I had a late start, not getting them until well into June, and there were no more free rangers by then. All had been trellis trained, and for so long I could not remove the trellis. Next year will be different.

Michelle said...

I need schooling. What's the difference between a container and a pot? 😁

Ed said...

I cleaned out our bluebird house a few weeks ago. I haven't checked it to see if something else has built a nest in there since but since it is supposed to get below freezing here in a few days, I don't think I have to worry about any eggs being laid.

Rain said...

Hi Susan :) My garden is done too, I have to close out the garden and put everything away too. I won't be planting any bulbs because 2020 is THE year we are moving, no matter what. I brought my chives indoors, hopefully they'll last a few more months!

Scary thing about the raccoon...I just watched one of those "found footage" movies called Quarantine where everyone in the building eventually gets bit and contracts rabies...of course, the movie was of the horror genre so extremely exaggerated! But I do feel sorry for that poor critter. I hope he passes away without pain.

ellen abbott said...

if you lived here you'd be putting in your fall garden. I've put my food garden ambitions on hold for now.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I hope that rabid raccoon doesn't bite anyone or anyone's pet.