Saturday, October 06, 2007

Happy Fall Update

I know it's been awhile since my last post but, we folk here on the RJ Ranch have not been idle (just a little slow).

Roger and I are still working on completing some of our 'projects' before it becomes too cold to work outside. There are a few being deferred until next year.

Clean up on the barn was helped along a little by the WSU Rowing team. Our three Rent-a-Rowers made the mess a little more navigable. They also helped us with some of the yard work; dug a trench between the greenhouse and the pump house (for the electrical hook up); did a little heavy lifting and, received a lesson in window washing from Roger.

Roger will probably finish the electrical hook-up to the greenhouse today (or tomorrow). Once we have a little heat to the greenhouse we should be able to maintain some of the plants in the greenhouse throughout the winter (that's our hope anyway). If it gets too cold or too expensive to keep the greenhouse above freezing we will use the alternative method for keeping the plants healthy (an arboretum inside of the house).

I have installed more shelves in the barn so some of the floor space is available for... MORE CLUTTER [I hope not]. Roger built some bins for holding the excess lumber and pipe we have in the barn. The lumber will be used to complete enclosing his work area and some of the pipe will be used to support the solar panels (one of the deferred 'next year' projects). I completed grouting the veneer on the greenhouse (PLEASE don't look too closely).

Last year I planted my garden three times. Only the third planting survived. This year I planted the garden too late because of the greenhouse delivery.

From last years experience I surmised that many of this years plants would be just reaching maturity just about the time the first frost was expected. They were and it did. The growing season here is just too short.

Covered Vines............................... MGH.............................Unprotected Vines

In preparation for next year's planting (because this year is a loss) I am conducting the experiment. Before the first frost hit a few weeks ago I made some 'mini-greenhouses' (MGH) and placed them over the plants the night of the expected frost. The covered plants were unaffected by the frost. The zucchini did exceptionally well. Plants left exposed to the frigid night air were severely damaged (especially the tomatoes). I have removed all but one of the MGH now and am still maintaining one on a few of the tomato vines just as a 'test'. The thermometer has dipped to as low as 27 degrees in the last few weeks but the protected tomatoes (though not doing particularly well) seem to be surviving. All the MGH needs to do is keep the young plants in the spring from being 'bitten'. I think this just might work. I guess I'll need to wait until spring to find out.

In spite of any killing frost we may have had in the past few weeks some plants don't seem to know that it's fall yet.

I wonder if they're waiting for the bees?

Roger say's: The greenhouse wiring will NOT be finished today (Sat.) or tomorrow. I think in this case, "Roger's Rule of THREE" applies: If I say I can probably do the job in one or two days, it will actually take three to six days. (So far, I've used up three days.)

Great pictures, by the way.
Why am I not surprised? 'Roger's Rule of Three' sometimes referred to as 'Roger's Rule of Five' often applies. lol
...and thank you for the picture comment ;-)
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