Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fall is Here- Time to Winterize

Have you noticed how short the days are getting? It is much cooler here in the PACNW, although we had a very cool, wet and windy spring and summer, it is getting cooler very quickly. Last weekend the night time temps dipped into the lower 30's and I started to panic because 2 years ago I lost my crop of apples to an early freeze in September. I do not want to lose another crop of apples, or my tomatoes for that matter. So last weekend, when the guy at the gas station said we were going to have frost that night I was like, "really?" So when I got home I checked the weather and it was only supposed to get down to 40 degrees. I'm safe I thought. Well, the next morning the temp outside was 34. Oh my gosh! Did I really screw up again? I checked and my apples had not froze. Ah, safe! And the tomatoes were fine as well, although, very slow ripening. In fact, I have only picked about 6 ripe tomatoes so far.

Well, it was supposed to get into the upper 30's this week for the low and I am determined to pick my apples and tomatoes this weekend. This morning, it is 33 outside. Panic! Whew, they are all okay. I am picking all my apples and my ripe as much as they are tomatoes. I will make salsa, and get the apples into the fridge for now.

Other items on our list of winterizing to do chores include putting Molemax around the base of the apple trees so the voles don't eat the roots and destroy the trees. I lost 3 apples trees to voles over the past couple of years,and now I only have 2 trees left. Also, putting winter fertilizer on the lawn, digging up potatoes and letting them cure before storing them, getting the potato storage can sealed, buying wood pellets to heat the house, cleaning out the chicken barn and putting down fresh shavings, and checking all water heaters for livestock. We need to put patio furniture away by November along with our patio fireplace. Gosh, the list goes on and on. Let's see... covering outside faucets with covers, draining the pipes that irrigate the garden, mulching plants, worming the horses and more. What is on your list for winterizing? It seems there is so much to do, not to mention fall sports, open houses, and the day to day chores. I also need to inventory our food and stock up on low items.

I love autumn. I love the cooler days. I enjoy being outside and getting chores completed for winter. I somehow just really like the change and the feel in the air. Apples, cider, and harvest time. Fall is here.


  1. Are your trees too large that it wouldn't make sense to somehow cover them if the temps are threatening to get in the lower 30's, or won't that help? I'd hate to lose two year's worth of apples in a row! Our fruit trees were planted only two years ago, and we haven't had any fruit yet, although even some of my friends in the area have said that although there were tons of flowers on the trees, almost no one had fruit this year, something about a late frost & the polinators were wiped out for the spring.

    Now go out and pick those apples!! :)

  2. Carolyn Renee,

    Actually, we have dwarf Jonagold apple trees that a neighbor gave us that were being dug up when an orchard was taken out. So, yes, we could cover them. We actually netted them a couple of years back because the wasps were voraciously eating every apple! Last year our trees had one blossom between the two trees so no apples, but an abundant harvest this year. I just went out picked the apples and have about 25# worth. They are small but delicious. I plan to dry some and we'll probably eat the rest.


Your thoughts are welcome!