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A Few More Dry Days

October 15, 2010

Today, Friday, October 15, 2010: a foggy morning

I am trying to take advantage of the few dry days we have left this fall and get as many beds cleared out and planted with cover crop as possible. I don’t like cold, wet gloves, though, so I am usually pretty slow to get started outside on the cool, foggy, dewy-wet mornings. The extended forecast on AccuWeather shows we have about a week left of dry days and then rain starts in again. In The Oregonian today, there was an article about a La Nina winter: cold, wet and stormy. All the more reason to get out now and get the garden ready for what is to come.

The crimson clover is germinating

I did get a start last week, when I cleared out and seeded crimson clover in five beds and bought the rest of the cover crop seed that I will need. Hopefully, this weekend, with Steven’s help, we’ll get all the dead tomato vines out and get more cover crop in those beds. I should give up on the summer squash beds as well. I keep thinking, maybe there will be one or two more…it is time to move on. Lots of beds are still full though: winter squash, lettuce, cabbage, chicories, carrots, beets, celeriac, leeks, kale, collards, parsley, spinach, arugula, miner’s lettuce and peppers (those are in the hoop house).

Where are the potatoes? Here is a quick update: If you recall, I dug two varieties of potatoes in early July, because the vines were dying from blight. The third variety was doing alright, so I let it continue and it seemed to do well. I dug those potatoes about two weeks ago, but was very disappointed. There just wasn’t much there, so there will not be any more potatoes this year.

I saw a bit too much of this: skeletons of grape clusters

I am getting to a decision about when the season will end…the end of October, with one additional delivery before Thanksgiving. Grapes were the deciding factor. There were not a lot of grapes to begin with this year. On top of that, they have been ripening on a weird, uneven schedule, making it very hard to find fully ripe grapes…especially before the birds found them. There seem to be more birds than ever this year and they have really been enjoying the grapes. Lucky for them, they have plenty of  time to check on the grapes to see if they are ripe enough to eat. They definitely have checked more often than I have. I tried to cover some with netting (a feeble attempt on my part), but the birds got underneath the netting and still got at the grapes. I picked the rest of the Canadice on Tuesday and sold what was good on Thursday. The birds finished off the Buffalo and Concords and got a lot of the Niagra and Stueben already. Some were ripe, some not yet. There just is not enough left to sell. This gives me another project for the winter: the best methods to protect the grapes from the birds. It may be a good thing lots of rainy, stormy weather is coming this winter: more time to read and research by the fire.

I have put a little netting over some of the grapes

One Comment leave one →
  1. Helen Brunsdon permalink
    October 15, 2010 3:53 pm

    Michelle, Enjoyed your Grape story. How do you cut yours back? Bob cut ours back really good this year, and so we didn’t get one grape. Any tips would be really appreciated. My Tomatoes really sucked this year.

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