If November was chilly, December has been downright cold. On Friday morning, the temperature outside was 0 degrees at 8:45; inside was a cool 40. The heaters surely had kicked on, but did not seem to heat significantly. We had some icy annuals on the southside; the greens by the vent were frosty, as were some basil and peppers. Luckily, no major losses- all perennials are hanging on.
This week we removed the cucumbers from the western cuke bed. They were very productive for close to 3 months, but had become tired, pale, and spotty. The thrips had moved back in; it was time for them to go. We also removed some tomatoes that seemed to be affected by a fungus wilt. At Jeannie’s suggestion, we pulled out the roots with the plants and hung them (from the strawberry trellis- coming in useful!) upside down to ripen. With lots of green fruit on the vine, we have seen a few ripen this way. Interestingly, it’s the yellow Valencia variety which seems more suceptible to this wilt, which is unfortunate, being my favorite tomato. Could also be because they were in shadier locations.
I have been amending our soil with the composted sheep manure that Deano delivered. Luckily, the ground is frozen, but with little snow I can still access the pile. I reworked the western cuke bed to ready it for broccoli. I think lower growing plants are a must on the south side- we’re seeing significant shading by our tomato “trees”.
We placed orders this week as well. Along with some greenhouse/growing supplies, we have ordered winter seeds: beets, broccoli, herbs, more greens. I have direct-sown some peas and beans, as well as nasturtiums & California Poppy, & cilantro. I’m interested to see what the difference in germination rates will be between direct-sow, and seedling transplants.
Deano has said he will try to bring gravel for our path to the shed while the ground is frozen but uncovered by snow. It would be nice to have this in when the snow melts next spring.