Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fall, And Most of the Leaves Have

My "Bloodgood" Japanese Maple has great fall color
The parking spot for Saturday night - almost no takers
This hoop house was a kit that had 9 plastic braces for the wooden members

I put the side braces on to help stabalize the structure - next year a real hoop house.

In the last week many of the leaves have fallen due to high winds of the last few days, and only a few leaves are left on the trees. The different grafts on the apple tree show different fall color or as some apples, no color at all - kind of an interesting look on the tree. I have been drying and making apple sauce almost daily this past week and will continue until most of the crop is processed. The "Firesides" and one variety, no name anymore, off the garden tree are the favorite for fresh eating so I will try to hold on to them as long as possible. Most of the rest will be dried.

With a few sunny days I was able to cover my wooden hoop house and protect the planted seed from all the recent rain. I covered the structure with two sheets of 10ft X 25ft X 4 mil plastic. I used staples and battens to secure the cover to the structure. I had good luck with this covering holding up all last winter, even with heavy snow and wind. The spinach has sprouted inside the hoop house and so have the mixed greens but I have not had any lettuce show in the cold frames. I am afraid the seed may have been too wet and will give it another few days before I will try some re-seeding. The mixed greens that spouted in one cold frame have be attacked by voles - those evil creatures. I put poison in the vole traps and hope that puts an end to them. Voles are voracious feeders and must eat all winter as they do not hibernate. I am trying two kinds of poison bait to see if one or the other does a better job. Obviously, I will have to fight them year 'round to manage their population. I will also put plastic rings around all the fruit trees just to make sure they are excluded from that food source.

I harvested the sesame stalks today. The dry leaves are best pulled off with an upward motion along the stem. That leaves the seed pods that will dry and open. I cut the stems and put them upside down in a brown grocery bag and put the bag in the green house, which on sunny days is nice and warm, to dry. The pods will split open and the seeds fall to the bottom of the bag. This should take about a month. Then they will be destined for that great bread that Susan makes.

Happy Gardening

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