Monday, October 19, 2009

Jack Frost Is Stopped Short

We did get down to a good frost temperature last night, and I envisioned tales of the horror and woe I was going to witness when I got back from work tonight and saw the cucumbers in the daylight, but I honestly think things went okay. The vines and cucumbers themselves really don't look any worse for wear. They may succumb tonight or later this week, who knows, but last night wasn't what I had expected.

It was about this time last year that I started making a record of the garden goings on. I copied and pasted some of my paper journal and gardenweb entries on this blog then. I'm very glad I kept records of what was planted and what harvested when. It's great to wonder when things matured and then to go right on to the blog or the journal and check on when things happened.

I've made the decision not to use much of the corner yard for fall plantings, but rather relegate those to pots on the front walk and the side yard. The creature who shall not be named and the acorns of destruction have made fall gardening back there counter productive. Last year I planted broccoli out on the front walk on Aug 1 and harvested beautiful heads on Nov 5. This year I planted earlier in the corner yard, but they haven't even formed the smallest of heads yet. I'm not sure if much will come of them. The lettuce back there has also been a bust for the same reason. Last year's lettuce on the front walk was fantabulous.

Next year: Spring and summer in the corner yard. Late summer cucumbers can use the trellis. Summer in the other corner yard and year around in the side yard. Keep the front walk as clean as possible during the spring and summer and break out the pots for the fall plantings. No, I won't harvest as much, but I'll at least be able to harvest something, which is more than I've got now.

So there you have it. Make notes, make notes, make notes. Review the notes, review the notes, review the notes. Try new things, but stick to those you know will work as well and don't beat yourself up for not trying things again that you know won't work. Acorns hurled down from wind, rain or rogue squirrels will always win until someone finds a hybrid broccoli or lettuce made from carbon fiber, and three hours of sun won't turn into six no matter how many years in a row you try.

All the more reason to build my 4x4 movable boxes.....hmmmmmmm
Hey, EG.....4 ft wide would be all I could do, but how long could I make these boxes on wheels without needing additional center support to keep the bottom from experiencing too much strain? I'm also assuming general nails/screws wouldn't support the weight of the water and soil even if it was only a 4x4. This could get interesting.

The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.


  1. Ah....a construction project! How long do ya wanna make it? If 8 ft, then you'll need 2x8's for the sides. The boards to fasten onto the bottom side needs to be 2x whatever, and lag screws used to fasten them with. It won't collapse, trust me. Let me know if ya need more input.

  2. 8 ft may not be as moveable as I'd need it. You know, if I did two 4*4 boxes, I'd get more sqft as well.

    Seriously, the bottom wouldn't sag out in a 4*4 with no reinforcement?


  3. I wonder if a soil mix like a rooftop garden (like the ones on top of the SF Chronicle building) might not be a wise investment. Less weight on the boxes, and what about a cross-brace every 3' if you wanted to go longer than 4x4?

    I think knowing your location is a big part of wise gardening, so it's not giving up -- just like I don't try to grow lots of huge watermelons. Well, I try, but I assume they're not going to work.

  4. Use 2x6's for a 4x4 box, and no - it won't sag.