In article ,
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.
We woke up this morning to a chilly 70F. Now it's in the
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.
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
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. :)
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.
We planted basil when we moved here in 2012, have not had to plant
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
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.
:) 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...
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.
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."
What exactly are we foaming? It's fairly nice here at 1442 hours, light
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.
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
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
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.
Down here in upper Hell, that's the heat part, we tend to really use a
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
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.
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
looks like a beautiful day out there so it is
time to get a going...
Actually it's a sort of brownish and then it turns black with time. I
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.
It was hot again here and we picked a few sweet peppers, some eggplant
and some green the boss lady likes but I don't. Looks like she's chewing
her cud with the stuff in her mouth.