Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Thyme for Bulbs

      We have been collecting bulbs for the past weeks and I had nearly all of them in the ground... and then Veseys had their half-price sale, and now I have more! A great big bag of different ones I have to site somewhere. I bought a couple of huge plastic pots when Kent was moving to their new store (and selling off the stuff they didn't want to move) and I think I could put a lot of little ones in there - I am thinking the Hollandica Iris (I have 50!) on the bottom and the crocus on the top (Blue Pearl and Jeanne d'Arc). But the fritillaria Persica and Fox's Grape will have to go into the ground. (I seem to have a habit of planting bulbs on or near Hallowe'en!) But first I need some styrofoam peanuts for the bottom of the pots or I won't be able to move them around. They are that big.
     The ones which are already planted are Alliums - 4 Gladiator and 15 Aflatuenense, and pink assorted narcissus (I always fall for these) as well as fritillaria Meleagris. And a whole lot of tulips, pink and white doubles and some purple ones from Vanco. Spring will be glorious.
          I found a great mitten pattern on Ravelry in the free patterns. It is in DK with a lace pattern on the back of the hand, and I have made one pair and have another under way. They are very quick and quite cute, I think! And could be a great use for all the DK I have gathered and have in storage.
      I have been home, of course, and making time for domestic tasks as well as planting. Processed a pumpkin yesterday and made puree for the freezer ( and a pie) and I am thinking I will do the other pumpkin as well, today (instead of wasting it as a jack o'lantern). I may boil this one rather than roasting it. Roasting may be more flavorful but it takes more cooking time.
       Yesterday I finished off planting a big patch of thyme - we killed the grass with carpet and I have spot-planted thyme plants in the space.

I am mulching with newspaper and sawdust to keep the grass from coming back until the thyme has gotten a head start. I know we will probably still have to mow to keep the grass at bay, but I think having big patches of thyme will be a vast improvement over just grass alone. I gathered some of the plants at the beach, (wooly thyme) and some of them had white blooms, as well as the more common purple. My fingers are thoroughly crossed.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Harvest and storage time

I am already missing my wonderful tomatoes. I had plans to bring in a couple of plants and try to keep them producing for a bit longer, but - alas! - they were stricken with blight at the last and so came to quite an abrupt end. There are quite a few tomatoes in the freezer - the plants were quite productive when they were healthy - but it's not the same as going out and picking a few - or a lot - whenever you wanted to. I must try again with the blight-resistant varieties, and perhaps getting some growing in the greenhouse, next year.
I have closed in the ends of the greenhouse, and am moving annuals (that I think are worth saving) into pots and stashing them in there. And yesterday Anne and I constructed a cold frame, a veritable Rolls Royce of cold frames, with a cover made from poly-carbonate Tuftex. I have to stain it with Water Seal today, and then site it where the sun does shine, and fill it up. It's 5 feet by 3 (150 cm x 90 cm) and looks like it will house quite a bit.
I also made a vegetable storage bin - from jute and an old deep-freeze wire basket. It's full of carrots and damp sawdust, and is in the 'root cellar' - ie., the insulated garage.
Wire basket with jute bag, sewn to fit, inside. I got the jute as a remnant for $1. 
Carrots from a market, washed - and huge.

I used wood pellets for the sawdust - they were free as well.  I think I should look for more wire baskets!