Nov 28, 2011

Covering up

With a low last night of 21, I knew it was time to cover my broccoli.  It is growing away nicely, and I don't want frozen broccoli before I have any actual edible broccoli.  So, it's time for the sun box to make another appearance.

First, I had to move one plant so that it would be covered by my box.  What can I say, you have seen by now that planning is not my forte.  =) Once that little darling was moved, I took a few simple steps to extend my growing season.

Step one: grab all the wooden frames and used window.  You can see my original post on the sun box here.  Below is a close up of the simple frame bracket.

Step two: Stack 'em up.

Step three: Roll 'em out.  This year I decided to line two of the sides with foil to increase the light.  I might accidentally cook the broccoli, but you never know until you try!

Voila! Mini-greenhouse, aka sun box, is now protecting my plants and extending my growing season.  =)

 You can see some heat/condensation already building up.  Stay warm, broccoli!

Nov 16, 2011

Broccoli Progress Report

Are you curious how my broccoli is doing?  Do you stay up late at night wondering if I have forgotten about the last green things I have growing in my garden?  If so, dear friends, this post is for you! =) 

If not, you might want to stop reading now.  Also, if you are really staying up late at night wondering about my broccoli, you might want to talk to someone about that.  Mainly, me.  Because I am pretty sure I am the only one who cares as much as you. 

It has been such a nice, long fall here in Kansas.  I haven't had to cover my broccoli yet, which is good.  One of the benefits of growing a fall crop is that it is usually cold enough to kill off a few pests. 

Some plants actually do better in the fall, because they don't like heat.  Broccoli is one of those plants that likes cold temperatures and will survive nights that get to freezing or a touch below with no protection. 

Here is what it looked like a couple of weeks ago, when I first planted it:

Kind of wimpy and pathetic, no?  Here are some pictures that I took yesterday:

Coming along quite nicely, don't you think?  No signs of the tender edibles yet, but I know that joyous occasion will be coming soon.  I have been giving them a boost of compost tea from my worms when I have it, because broccoli is a heavy feeder.  In non-gardening terms, that means it likes to eat as much as I do, and plant nutrients come in the form of fertilizer.  =) 

My nutrients come in the form of cheeseburgers.  Don't judge me. 

Nov 9, 2011

Tucking in

I woke up one November morning in shock that it was supposed to reach 75 degrees.  You never can tell what Kansas weather will bring.  I have begun the slow process of removing all of the plants (except for my broccoli) from the garden.  However, it seems a bit counter-intuitive to pull up things that are still green; things that I have poured my blood, sweat and tears into.  Is it really that time?

This growing season in Kansas was brutal.  We broke a record for most 100 degree days since the 1930’s.  (Frankly, I don’t want to hold that record!)  So, I had to fight the weather and a few pests for every bit of produce during this awful summer.  At this point, I am ready to rest myself and my soil, and allow excitement to build about what I am going to plant next spring while my soil replenishes its’ nutrients. 

So, although it was a beautiful 75 degrees, I pulled out the last of my tomatoes from my garden bed, and added them to the compost pile.  I plan to use some newly shredded fall leaves and a little water to cover my garden with a thick blanket.  I like the feeling of tucking it in for a nice, restful winter’s nap.  To answer my own question about timing, I took a quick glance at the weather.  The next day's forecast: Rain with a high of 52.  I guess it is that time, after all.