Monday, October 12, 2015

Wrapping up the season

The season is winding down.  There's still some peppers ripening up, and with a few more sunny days I might get a second batch of chilis for drying.  Last weekend I removed the last of the trellises around the squash patch.  That was after picking the squashes.   Last year the yields of squash were at least double this years'. The butternuts did OK but yields of the Teksukabotu were way off.  I cooked one of the butternuts a few weeks ago and it was fine, the rainy weather in early summer did not affect the flavor. 

The spinach was planted in the front bed in the picture below a week ago.  I planted two rows of Burpee's Double Choice hybrid, a variety that has always overwintered well, and two rows of Viroflay.  All of it has germinated well.  When cold weather arrives I'll put a plastic greenhouse over the bed.  The middle bed has a stand of buckwheat growing as a cover crop.  The rabbits absolutely love buckwheat.

A mix of field peas, oats and berseem clover was seeded in the back bed as a late season cover crop.  It's all germinated and growing well.  I tried seeding berseem clover in mid-summer and it did poorly, guess it does not like the heat.  Next summer I'll try crowder peas as a summer cover crop. 

The raspberries, in their second season this year, had a poor fall crop, another victim of the wet summer weather and fungal diseases.  They are everbearing raspberries, meaning they will have two crops every year if I prune off the upper half of the plants after the leaves die off.  Given the extent of the infection I will prune them to the ground and burn the stems.  That means I will get only they fall harvest next year.

Another 'crop' is growing in the upper end of the pond - cattails.  This part of the pond is shallow and I expect the cattails to eventually march across to the opposite shore.  I'm OK with that as cattails act as a natural scrubber.  Much of the inflow will go through them and be cleaned in the process.  They are also habitat for marsh wrens and red-winged blackbirds.


Mark Willis said...

Do you not get animals digging in your raised beds, like the one in which you have sown the spinach? I find these days that sowing seeds in the open is a waste of time. They always need protection.

Margaret said...

I've just started my fall bed cleanup this past week as well - at least 2-3 weeks later than normal I would say. That's still a great squash harvest - I suppose as with every other crop, not every year is a bumper year.

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