Monday, August 15, 2011

Planting for Fall

I've started planting fall crops.  Since this is my first fall garden, it will be an experiment.  I may get some things, or nothing, but I hope to learn.  I got ruthless and pulled some things out so I could put others in.  Out came the squash plant that didn't produce one squash, and in went Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.  Two more of each of those went in tubs to see where they do better.  Turnips (to be harvested as 'baby' size), bok choy (ditto), and another planting of basil have gone in.  The basil is not a fall crop, and neither is eggplant, which I put in a couple of weeks ago, but if it's hot, like it usually is here in September, I may be able to get another crop in.  The original basil has been allowed to go to seed.

I can tell the days are getting shorter!!  Now if I go out to the garden in the evening, half of it is in shadow!  Maybe that is fueling my need to plant more crops before cold weather sets in.

There was a bean emergency here over the weekend!  Friday evening we had a thunderstorm which brought very little needed rain, but plenty of wind.  When I went out Saturday afternoon, I found my bean teepee had blown over and broken one of the poles.  Some plants were pulled out by the roots, and others plants mashed when the beans fell on them.  I propped up the beans as best I could on 2 poles by leaning it against the big rose, and covered the exposed roots with compost.  The beans have been disappointing again too.  This is my second year for pole beans - last year a heritage bean, and this year Kentucky Wonder. Lots of blossoms, but few beans.  There is no denying I get better yields with bush beans, but they take up so much room, and I don't know if they have non-hybrid varieties.  I will look next Spring.

One thing that is a huge success is the compost pile! (balance the 'browns' and 'greens') I got about 3 wheelbarrows full of finished compost over the weekend.  Since my townhouse neighborhood started offering recyling, it has been gratifying to see how many people use it, and between that and the kitchen stuff going to compost, it's amazing how long it takes my trash can to fill up!

I'm still running the dehydrator like crazy.  I dehydrated this big platter full of tomatoes - along with carrots and mushrooms - over the weekend, and still have plenty more tomatoes if I want to make sauce. (note to self: make Roma tomatoes a mainstay in the garden)  Of course the things I don't need much of, like hot peppers, are producing like crazy.  I've lost count of how many dozens of jalapenos I've dehydrated so far - many!  I powdered them in my coffee/spice grinder and it only came to 1/2 of a 1/2 pint jar!  I've got all the cayenne I will need for a long time too, so I can use that spot in the garden for something else next year.

The peeps are growing like weeds.  They were 2 weeks old last Friday, have doubled in size and are starting to feather out.  They do some really cute things.  They spar and chest bump, then freeze with their neck stretched out into a stare-down position.    

"You wanna piece 'a me?"

I hope that's not male-only behavior!  Dolley used to do it with the little roo who came her with her, though.  Abigail is a good mom, and will step between them to break it up.  One or the other always
'blinks' first and they wander away.  I wonder if that's why they call it playing 'chicken!?!' 

Saturday I found all 3 cuddled in their feed bowl, enjoying a sunbeam........but because of the 2.5 second delay in my shutter speed, I only got one. (still cute)  It has been hard to get photos of them all along.  They can really hear the tiny noises the camera makes and dive under or behind mom. 

Abigail used to let them sit on her back all the time - sometimes 2 at once.  She's weaning them from that now though.  When they hop up, she ducks her head or raises it while she ducks her bottom, so they slide off.  In the shot above one is about to get dumped.  Chick-watching is better than TV!

The KY State Fair has started, and this weekend is a 2-fer as far as I'm concerned.  Both rabbits and poultry are being shown then.  Sheep aren't until the next week. :( 

See you at the Fair!  From Wren Cottage.....     

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