Monday, August 31, 2009
Man, the title says it all. I could run with that in a million different directions, but where I was going is the summer to fall transition. We cleared out all of our tomato plants, 6 boxes worth, and transplanted seedlings of broccoli, cauliflower, mustard, kale, and Brussell sprouts. I then planted more seed in the ground of lettuce, spinach, water cress, carrots and beets.
It was sad to see my tomatoes go. But, Nicole made quick work of the remaining harvest, making more ketchup and pasta sauce with about 15 lbs of remaining tomatoes. I did have a renewed spirit after clearing the tomato vines as I got to plant more seeds. Every year I learn just a little bit more of the right things to do and more importantly, what I did wrong.
After we cleared the tomatoes, I walked over to the sweet potato box and noticed a chipmunk carrying what looked like a sweet potato away to his hole in the ground. I then went through the vines to see what kind of damage I had. The little rodents had eaten about 30-40% of my crop. Man I was mad. I had visions of Caddy Shack. Where was the TNT? Make my yard a mind field. Well, lucky for me, I have a wife that will let me get out my frustration and then calm me down. She is good at that. And to think I used to love those little critters.
One good thing I have learned this year (besides the need for dynamite) is I can grow lettuce in the summer pretty effectively. I planted seed in late July on one of the beds I cleared that had squash vines in it. I put a row cover over the seeds. As they germinated, the seedlings pushed up the row cover because it is so light, while allowing water and sun to get in. It also keeps the lettuce underneath cooler, allowing a nice crop to grow out.
The other thing I have learned this year is chickens and roosters look a lot alike. That is for another blog! Oh, the blogs may be a little more infrequent because of all of the craziness going on right now. But I will do them!
"I have always said there is only one thing that can bring our nation down - our dependence on foreign countries for food and energy. Agriculture is the backbone of our economy."