Fall Happenings at Sleepy Cat Farm
It has been a spectacular Fall this year – not so much referring to the Fall color display, but rather the weather being so mild for so long. We finally had our first killing frost on November 10th, almost a month later than the average frost date here.
We were still picking tomatoes and raspberries on the ninth of November. Forcing bulbs outdoors is something we have done now for the last few seasons. Taking advantage of the long Fall, bulbs are potted for spring transplanting into containers. This can be done easily in a deep trench, well labelled, and covered with leaves (as shown in photo 2). In addition, particularly with Tulips, we sprinkle rodent repellant on top and cover with deer netting prior to the leaves (see photo 1). Without these precautions, many plants are lost or relocated by the animals to the location of their choice (probably for a snack in late winter). Narcissus bulbs (Daffodils) generally repel rodents and do not need protection over the winter.
Another phenomenon this year had to do with the bees, both native and domesticated honeybees. The extended drought lasting from August through mid October forced many bees out looking for moisture, pollen and nectar, which is always seemingly scarce during this period. Our Meyer Lemons were covered with bumble bees and honeybees, and it looks like our Lemon crop will be heavy this Winter. I saw Bumblebees and butterflies literally forcing flower buds open to get at the rich nectar and pollen (photos 3 & 4).