Saturday, October 18, 2008

4 frosts now and everything's fine!

This morning was the fourth frost we had up here (zone 5, near Cooperstown NY), and all of these cold weather vegies did just fine. The low was 29 degrees, so it wasn't really a hard freeze. Looks like it was only below freezing for a few hours.

The spinach actually seems to like the frosts. It positively glows as it melts away. The collards definitely love the cold. What's left of the peas (that the deer didn't eat) are doing well as well.

So, we're really impressed with the quality of the plants. We got the seed from Johnny's Selected Seeds, an employee owned company in Maine. They have an excellent selection of organic seeds.

I forgot how much I love fall gardens! Every frosty morning I feel like I'm stealing something from nature by not losing any of these plants!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fall Garden Deer Delicasies

It is so nice to have a vegetable garden again. After years of living in the concrete jungle of the LA Suburbs, with very little soil, we moved to upstate NY this summer just in time to get this little fall garden in.

The snow peas are a real treat for the deer, who ate half of them before I admitted I was way out of practice on this, and asked the Wizard of Wells, organic gardening writer Mort Mather, what to do. His special deer spray recipie is one gallon of water, two tablespoons of hot sauce, and one tablespoon of biodegradeable soap. Sprayed them on the peas, lost a few more the next night, but that was it. I have a funny image of a little deer running to the nearest water hole with his stinging tongue hanging out!

I'd been sprinkling cayenne pepper on the spinach to keep the rabbits away, and as you can see from the picture, that's been working fine. Also found some stuff called liquid fence, which has petrified eggs--stinks to high heaven--and works well. A little expensive, though (the owners left a bottle), and I don't know if I want to develop a home-made recipe for that!

We also scatter our hair around the perimeter. I urinate around the yard occasionally, and I've hung chimes all around the place. Any other suggestions for keepin' the critters out?