Monday, October 1, 2007

Waiting for frost

Here's how the squash patch is looking these days, in full maturity. We've escaped a frost so far, but we could get one any day now. Saturday night - Sunday morning our temperature was supposed to drop to 34oF. That's close enough to freezing that there was some risk of a frost, particularly in my squash patch which is at the bottom of a slope. In a light frost, cold air accumulates at the bottom of the slope, so that part of my garden is the first to freeze.

Saturday at dusk John and I were in the patch spreading shade cloth, remay row covers, and assorted sheets and table cloths over as many plants as possible. In a light frost they could save the crop.

This morning when I went out, there was no sign of frost. But I'm glad we took the precaution. The rest of this week is supposed to have nights in the 40s, so we'll continue to have squash at the market.

In addition, Thursday was the last day for irrigation water from the Black Canyon Irrigation District. We gave the garden a good soak. From here on we depend on rain (some is due this morning, but it's not arrived yet), or on well water. From here on in, anything we harvest is icing on the cake, more than can be expected.

Our income from squash at the market this week was just $29.50, for squash accumulated between Tuesday evening and Friday evening. I spent a total of about 4 hours to harvest a little over 16 lbs of squash during that time period. We sold about 4 lbs to Bon Appetit after the market, about 25% of our harvest.

I'm hoping for a few days of Indian summer to boost squash productiviy for these last few weeks of market.

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