Thursday, September 5, 2013

Frost on the 5th?

Today is a little bit of a scramble for us, not because of what has been happening, but more because of what we are going to have to be doing today when we get home from work. First we have a drop off for our foster rats from Mainely Rats Rescue  at a new home near by which always makes us very happy. The other part of our evening is trying to prepare for a sudden and very early first frost that is predicted as possible for tonight!

This is a crazy early first frost if we end up actually having a frost over night. The early predicted frost for our area is 09/16 which would put this a good 10 days early. We have a staggering number of green tomatoes that look like they're just about ready to start ripening up in the next few days. We are very much Not ready for a first frost, but how we are going to cope is fairly simple. We are going to take sheets and cover all of the pepper plants to begin with. I am going to be seeing if I can find some seriously discounted bolts of sheet style cloth to put over as many of the tomato plants as we can. We particularly want to make sure we cover the sun gold plants because we LOVE the tomatoes we are getting off of them, and we have been so busy enjoying our harvest we haven't been preserving any of them, just eating them and having mass quantities of delicious salsa. If we can protect them to get another couple weeks of tomatoes that would be ideal. That way we can compensate for our enthusiastic enjoyment of our fresh crops instead of thinking ahead and preserving.

As you can see Left our tomato jungle is doing very well so we'll need a fair amount of fabric to cover all of it. Michelle Chandler is also seeing if she can find some of her old sheets to help us out with. She was actually the first one to give us the warning about tonight's potential frost even before I did my daily weather check. Now, there is of course the possibility that it won't frost in which case we will be thrilled, but glad we scrambled to be ready. If it frosted without us being ready and we lost everything we'd be very upset for obvious reasons.

One of the reasons I emphasized covering the peppers is just how productive the peppers have been, and how much more potential they still have. The hand full in the photo Left was just the small percentage that was ripe hanging at the bottom of our pepper plants. All 4 of the plants are just covered in fresh peppers that aren't ripe yet, but just about to start getting ripe. As a pepper nut I would be really sad to lose all of the not yet ripe Limon Peppers and even the Cayenne peppers.

On the up side the Squash should be able to handle the frost even if we do get a frost. We don't have a huge amount of squash set, but after our disappointing and concerning start to the season with the squash having at least one squash per plant is a real victory for us. It is a tiny harvest for squash, but it's something at least! We are going to be letting those grow, get fully ready, and are planning to save seeds from them even though the year wasn't very good for them.

So a quick look at the rabbits. Up at the very top, the first photo is Dawn's kits who are growing well, happy, and for the most part have a good temperament. One of them is skittish, and if that doesn't cool down may end up with that one being separated so it doesn't poison the temperament of the others as they grow.
The teens are doing very well and they've been enjoying eating as much of the weeds as I can possibly provide them. They've started using both levels to try to out maneuver their hutch mates to get the most choice tastes of the greens. I commented that their feed count looks more like a pony's feed bill. A flake or two of hay, 6 cups of pellets, and greens to supplement. They are actually at the point we should be butchering them, but I have to admit I kind of like having them around even though they are a feed drain. I've been just taking them one at a time and butchering them as we need them instead of doing a mass harvest, though within the next 2 weeks I will Have to do a mass harvest since the next round of kits will be born soon.
The other thing I wanted to discuss briefly was an escaped kit from Twilight's hutch. Twilight in one of her dramasplosions flung the feeder off the side of the hutch, and one of the black kits jumped out and was wandering around and eating the wild smart weed and having a good time. It was an example of, it's good they trust us because he literally came up to us. The Lady of the House wasn't able to get him by herself but once I got home it wasn't a long process to get him back. We cornered him, and instead of freaking out he just accepted me bending down to pick him up. Now ideally we won't have any more escapes, but it is good to have reassurance that we can pick them up if we need to.

So that's all for the week. Check in with us next week to see if we end up having had frost, and to see how much of our garden survives!

No comments:

Post a Comment