Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Early October

The daytime temps finally took a turn a week ago. It had just been too hot for too long. The days are now in the 70s and nights in the 60s. We've plenty of rain, the skeeters are still abundant and the fall peepers are peeping. The almanac says we will have a warm October, perhaps a late frost, but I don't want to pretend it isn't coming. I need to start pack-ratting it all away.
Today I began taking cuttings. A few big leaf hydrangea cuttings I made this summer did very well, so I've decided to try some semi-hardwood cuttings from the native Hydrangea arborescens.
I haven't decided where I will overwinter these- indoors or in the coldframe nursery. I'll have to do some research. I can't recall how many years ago I first bought this Alabama Sunset Coleus, but I've been taking annual cuttings from it for years. It's my favorite coleus. It is such a different looking plant in full sun. 

These cuttings are just placed in plain water for the winter. 
Occasionally, I change the water, but that's it. Doesn't get easier than that.

New Bed/New attempt
I've been wanting to redo the strawberry beds and the time finally came. I didn't know there was such a thing as fall planted strawberries, but the reviews were better than spring planting so I thought I'd give it a go. Finding fall plants isn't as easy as spring ones, but they are suppose to produce more than spring planted and have better health due to less bugs and disease over winter. I ordered two varieties from Indiana Berry and they arrived in the mail THE VERY NEXT DAY! Holy cow, I wasn't ready so I had to store the bare roots a few days in the fridge while I built and compost loaded the beds. 

Every single plant has leafed out. I'm already impressed!
Below: The new beds made from Cedar fenceposts.
And planted between the rows of strawberries are another first: 
Fall blooming Crocuses including Saffron Crocus! 

Natives in Bloom
Gray Goldenrod Solidago nemoralis

 Aromatic Aster Symphtricum oblongifolium

 Hackberry berries and a Question Mark Butterfly

Went to the Native Plant Sale at Schlafly Bottleworks 
last weekend and got some more and new natives, including:
Wild Oregano, Fame Flower, Pussytoes, Sedum, P. Poppy Mallow,
Common Milkweeds (for the prairie), a Phlox and more

A new (first) Sassafras
Sean got some Paw Paws, Elderberry & Serviceberry for
his folk's place.

Do again/successes to repeat next year: Impatiens
I was happy with each of these, although we did get a lot of rain this summer and it helped that I hardly watered them. Next time use all light pink in these as it shows best in the shade.

White bread flour mixed with 7 grain hot cereal
Very good
 Roasted cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes
and garbanzo bean pilaf
 Veg fajitas
 Chicken of the Woods in a cream sauce over polenta
and a pepper potato soup

Basement Foodstuff
The winter greens have begun. Seeded more yesterday- cilantro, frilly mustard, lettuce mix, dwarf siberian kale.

Hoophouse update: Seedlings are coming up- kales and frilly mustard. Leeks returning. 
Orchard raised beds: lots of seedlings of greens coming up in these. I've also been working on the new house for the old ladies. I think they will be safer and warmer in a new house, plus I want to work on the woodland garden and be chicken-free in that area. 

Chuy Sanchez says
The End.