first frost last night

started getting the gardens ready for winter.
beautiful day by the looks of things today once the frost/dew burns off...
songbird
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Made the last batch of pesto last night. Supposed to get a frost, not sure that it really arrived, but there's a hard freeze warning for tonight and it wasn't improving as it stood there anyway.
I had intended to try harvesting basil a lot earlier and spare myself the late autumn pesto madness this year, but I determined that I need to plant a lot closer (and more plants, but I had the more plants) for that to be practical here - when I looked at the "early harvest" I was looking at robbing the cradle for my 9" spaced plants. I'll try them at 4" next year and it might be reasonable. Another side goal of harvesting early is to possibly skip the leaf-picking (tedious, slow) and just grab the plants before they get woody, and grind the whole plant.
Once things freeze off pretty well I'll get back to a bunch of things that were sacrificed for the sake of other concerns this year and see if next year will be better as a result - the whole thing needs to be re-done, hopefully the last set of path changes, renew the fence, haul a lot of horse-poop.
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by
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Ecnerwal wrote: ...

we're not basil growers/eaters that much. if it gets used it is very lightly done so the dry version works ok for us. i doubt we'd use a single plant's worth in a year. Ma doesn't like much from the mint family.
i had a lot of squash that needed to be cooked up and frozen (some were starting to get fungi on them or had lost the stem already or ...). also ate a few which were yummy. :)

dig a deep hole and scrape the surface debris into that and bury it. keeps a lot of weed seeds from germinating. when you stir it up again some may sprout, but the worms will eat some of those seeds. i have a few useless pathways i'd like to get rid of but i keep getting overruled on that.
have to remember to get the garlic planted.
songbird
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On 10/18/2016 9:35 AM, songbird wrote:

anymore. We pick regularly, dehydrate and jar up, then we pick again and again, then they go to seed just before cold weather. When spring springs the basil starts growing again. Still looks the same and tastes the same.
We found an earthworm a while back, not another one since. We put the one captive into the raised bed and hope it will make more.
George
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George Shirley wrote: ...

:) it's nice when it works out that ways. perennial gardens can save on a lot of work.

if it was an actual earth worm it will have migrated down to the subsoil if it could. i have been working here for years to increase my populations of these worms and am breeding them inside in some of my worm bins too (with mostly the dirt/clay and not so much organic materials like i use in the rest of the worm bins for worm composting). i have three earthworm species that show up here. there are some that are pale pink to white, some which are darker red and the once in a while accidental night crawler. if i notice the last kind i put them back outside as they don't actually do well in captivity in such a tiny container.
all gardens that i've amended with a mix of worm species do seem to sustain at least a few of the earth worms now. when i first started working in many of these gardens there wasn't any kind of worm to be found.
the composting worms (which i do not consider to be earth worms) i use are a mix of at least two species. the common red- wriggler and the non-native belgian night crawler. the belgian night crawler will not survive our winters, but they are an excellent composting worm to use as they will live in the soil but they really do a great job of munching on organic materials too. they rapidly increase in population i put a hundred thousand to two hundred thousand worms out in the gardens each spring and most of them are the belgians...
songbird
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On 10/10/2016 8:29 AM, songbird wrote:

mid-seventies aiming at low eighties. I am thinking this will be the third year without a winter of some sort.
Still waiting for the right time to prune the fruit trees and the trees are still making fruit. Come on winter.
George
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On Monday, October 10, 2016 at 9:29:45 AM UTC-4, songbird wrote:

Where are you that you're getting frost already?
Paul
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Pavel314 wrote:

mid michigan. in a low spot.
was a beautiful day for getting some of the squash plants raked up and buried. three more gardens inside the fenced area to get done and two outside the fence. one has beans still going i have to check them before the next rain to see if any pods have to come in. will do that one last.
should also get some more strawberry plants transplanted. it helps me thin out one of the older existing patches because it gives me a reason to go through it.
even if i'm not moving as much as i'd like to it still feels good to be back out digging and puttering around. :)
songbird
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VERY light frost on the lawn this morning; will look at the Tomatos and pole beans later to gauge the effect. This in the hills outside Albany, NY: 1410' elevation.
--
Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at home.earthlink.net/~garygarlic
Zone 5/4 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
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On 10/11/2016 8:05 AM, Gary Woods wrote:

is frost? <BSEG>
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nothing too serious, but the trend has definitely been colder recently - the heat has been running at night. a good day for making onion soup and baking some squash. have a few beans left to shell out, almost done.
still have to pull the beets sometime and put those up.
got all the hoses brought in along with the yard decorations and the bird- baths are covered up.
otherwise still busy putting up gardens and putzing around.
garlic is planted.
songbird
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On Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 1:37:22 PM UTC-4, songbird wrote:

We had our first frost last night (October 26-27), north of Baltimore. They 're predicting in the high 70's in a few days, then cooling again.
Reminds me of the joke about why Cleveland (where I grew up) is located whe re it is. When Moses Cleveland was in a boat exploring Lake Erie, a storm b lew up. They pulled into the mouth of the Cuyahoga River and Moses said, "W e'll wait here until the weather improves."
Paul
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Pavel314 wrote: ...

:) all joking aside, the river meeting the lake is often a place chosen for an old city.
i think we are going to do foam work today while it is warm enough outside.
songbird
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On 10/29/2016 8:47 AM, songbird wrote:

breeze blowing, which is helpful. I started Tilly's fall brushing yesterday, so far a plastic bag full of dog hair has come off her. Once it is all off, that which doesn't blow across the garden with the wind, will be buried around one of the fruit trees. A good source of nitrogen with a little work. I think I saw fall peaking in on us last night but I'm not 100% sure yet.
George
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George Shirley wrote: ...

some hard to reach spots above closets along the outer wall that should have been sealed up and finished 20yrs ago when the place was built. in two of them i'd plugged them up by stuffing old t-shirts in there to keep air flow down. surprised by how well those old shirts held up for that long. i thought they'd have been chewed up by bugs or mice. nope. so they got a third use today as i used them to dust 20yrs of dust up and finally threw them away.
a few winters ago i could feel drafts through this room from various leaks in the walls. since then i've gone around the outside perimeter and caulked and foamed shut all the gaps down low and in the siding which. last winter i didn't notice the drafts any more so that was nice. still get plenty of air flow though with forced air heat/AC.
these three spots were the last of the sealing up i wanted to do this fall. i still have some caulking to do and the garden shed (which is the back wall of the garage) needs work to seal it up. the mice get in the walls too easily there.
in my room here i had to duck tape three foam can tubes together to get them to reach to the back wall. it would have been very hard to crawl up in there to get to them, but luckily the extended straw trick worked well enough.
i figure a three to five year payback on this project. mostly it was just to keep bugs from crawling through and any heat savings is a bonus.

we've had about a dozen hard frosts so far and some snow, but today was 67F. not too bad yet. :) trees are losing the leaves. been raining a fair bit so i still have gardens to finish up and also beets to pick and put up.
songbird
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On 10/29/2016 9:29 PM, songbird wrote:

lot of insulation. Our house is brick exterior with Hardy Plank for trim. The next layer in is a 3/4 inch insulation board, then the exterior walls are stuffed with insulation, then there is half inch sheet rock on the interior. We seldom here cars going by on the street in front, don't hear many of the aircraft that go by as we have two airports nearby. Then there's the attic, 12-inch ceiling joists and the attic has insulation that stands above the joists. The inside of the roof has reflective plastic on that helps in keeping the outside heat from penetrating into the attic. Unfortunately we all, by HOA rules, have black roofs. Always before we had roofs that were white, to reflect the heat.
We don't really need insulation much against cold, it was 84F yesterday and may be more today. We haven't had a real winter with cold in over two years. We get temps running from mid-fifties to high eighties during the day here in La La Land. The biggest noise around is traffic going by. From about 0600 to 0930 there is a continuous stream of cars and trucks going by, then we can get out and go somewhere if necessary. This includes weekends too, traffic does slow down a bit on Sunday's but not a lot. You get used to the traffic sounds so you sleep well after indoctrination. Our home is two blocks from the main road but we still hear the noise. Then there's six trains a day, tracks are five miles away but the trains blow their whistles continuously as they go by due to the crossings. Some of these trains are five or six miles long too. I'm so old I can remember when this area was cattle and vegetable farms and you seldom saw a car or heard a train. Most of the trains are outgoing from the Port of Houston and are pulling automobile carriers, two levels high. I think the port in Houston must deliver cars for most of the south from what I've seen going by.
Still, at least the neighbors are quiet, most of them are off to work before 0800 and the kids are off to school or to the nanny. Peace and quiet to work in the garden, get the mowing done.*It appears that most of our neighbors have mowing crews in every other week. Our lawns are very small and we mow with an electric mower and it takes less than an hour to mow and weed eat and that includes frequent rests due to our ages. Wife likes to mow so I'm trying to talk her into getting paid by the neighbors instead of using wet back labor from off the street. She would rather play with the gardens. <G>
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George Shirley wrote: ...

that is crazy. black roof in a hot climate...
even in a hot climate having more insulation is good to keep the AC from having to work too hard. up here we have six inch walls and two inch foam board, but the gaps were never properly sealed up and duck tape is not meant to be exposed to any weathering at all and soon crumbles. so until i got it sealed up better it was leaking more heat and cool air than it should. when the wind blew you could feel it.

i used to live along I275 near Plymouth, MI there was a sound wall which reflected the worst of the noise, but it still sounded like the surf in the background. as the road itself degraded and potholes developed the large trucks going by would shake the house and there were cracks in the foundation. wasn't built well, luckily not my place. as you say you got used to the sound but i would never call it good.
i've always liked trains and grew up near a rail line which included some spurs for the large clay pits nearby. we'd go climb in the railcars and get hunks of clay to play with and walked those tracks for many miles in all directions.

Ma does the mowing here, i told her when i moved in that i would do anything else but that and since i've only had to mow once when she hurt her foot and couldn't do it for a few weeks. when the time comes i'll get rid of the mower gladly and the rest of the grass will get turned into something more useful. if i stay on.
looks like a beautiful day out there so it is time to get a going...
songbird
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On 11/7/2016 10:01 AM, songbird wrote:

approached the HOA folk and asked about white roofs, really wanted a white steel roof. Oh No, Horrors, all houses much look alike. Pfsst! What's the old hippie song, Little Houses, ticky tacky house, all in a row. These people are terrified that their property value might go down and they couldn't get a fortune for their house. We intend to live in this one until we go to the graveyard, our kids can fight over the value then. You actually have to put in a form to do anything to the exterior of your house, they outlaw certain colors of paint for the exterior too. Our old house was red brick with lipstick red painted wood. We won home of the year four times with that one.

and some green the boss lady likes but I don't. Looks like she's chewing her cud with the stuff in her mouth. <G>
George
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