A personal record of what's going on in my Northern Michigan zone 4 gardens. I use raised beds and grow organically. Nothing fancy--just trying to garden with nature in mind.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Carrots, Broccoli, and Skunk--Oh MY!

Happy Halloween to all. Hard to believe it's the last day of October already. The frost is definately on the pumpkins (as it has been for the past 7 weeks!)

Things are slowly returning to normal after our great Skunk disaster.


I've managed to put up a few decorations. Most of our efforts have been concentrated on ridding the house of the awful stench of skunk.

Hubby did a fabulous job of getting rid of the stripey devil, but unfortunately, as some of you know--our home took a direct hit. In the crawlspace. OMG.


The hole has since been dug out, fresh concrete poured, and fresh dirt hauled in to replace the "bad" stuff. It's been a hellish week and my huge thanks to those of you who wrote words of encouragement. Home has always been my sanctuary and these past days have certainly taken a toll on me. It's good to see the light at the end of the tunnel.


This year was very good for the mums. I'm impressed with how well they bloomed despite almost the entire month having nighttime temps in the 20's.



This is my Oddball mum---it was purchased last year---the blooms were a combo of orange with yellow striping. It came back this year a mix of ALL orange and ALL yellow blooms. Odd.




The coldframes are hard at work cranking out lettuce, spinach , carrots and broccoli.



I've gotten several pounds of carrots this month......This bunch was from Oct 26.



The broccoli is almost ready for cutting. I have a dozen plants under the Agribon that promise at least a few more meals of good eating.


Wasn't that snow out East something?? So many areas still had leaves on the trees..what a shame about all the damage to them.

I've been frosted out since early September. Our leaves have been gone for weeks. According to the Farmer's Almanac, we're supposed to get plenty of snow this winter and I'm glad.

Stay warm and safe, everybody!

52 comments:

  1. Oh the horror! A skunk in your crawl space?!? You really have been in a nightmare! Glad to hear that there is light at the end of your tunnel.

    Speaking of tunnels...Your garden is so neat and well put together. Inspiration for me that's for sure! I'm truly envious of your wide, clean walkways. I have weed block fabric, cardboard and pine bark mulch out and the weeds STILL manage to break through!

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  2. Amazing that you are so comfortable with all that snow coming!

    Your cold frames are serving you well. Enjoy your fresh veggies!

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  3. Well at least your garden is STILL beautiful in the WINTER TOO!My son feeds all the wild creatures at his work and along comes a skunk once in awhile,they are Gods creatures too,they just have a particular smelly defense mechanism-they all make a bet-who will get hit---they are nocturnal too[ the work guys ]

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  4. Oh no, I'm so sorry you had to deal with skunk stench. I can't even imagine how awful that must have been and how stressed you were. I know I would have been freaking out... Hope the smell will be completely gone soon! Your fall decorations are beautiful and your mums look very pretty!

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  5. Your Fall decorations are gorgeous. What a terrible thing to have a skunk under the house. I saw one walking through my garden one morning. Sure glad he left. We all need to be vigilant about holes under and around the house.

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  6. Tami-those walkways are sand--it's what we have the most of here. It's terrible to walk on when it's rained--it sticks like crazy to your shoes-but it's a dream to keep weed free--I just scrape it with an iron rake once a month.

    Daisy-thanks! I'm still learning the whole cold-frame thing, but it's working well so far (and I have NO idea how one little piece of glass does that!)
    :)


    Judy-I sure hope the guys DON'T get hit. This stuff is TERRIBLE to get rid of!!!
    Scrub Scrub Scrub!!!

    Anke-I was so looking forward to finishing up outside and getting into my "winter" mode. That skunk sure put the delay into those plans!

    L.Rose-I certainly hope your skunk stays away--but with your beautiful flowers, I wouldn't blame him if he set up house!
    :)

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  7. I have been wondering what your awful mess is. .yikes. .our old daycare provider used to have an occasional issue like that. .Bless you. .that's awful!! Love your halloween deco. .very festive!! Wow. .it sure looks cold there!! I have some photos to post this week taken last Thurs. .which looks the same as today. .Oct 31. .you'll be surprised by what is still bloomin' here! Happy Halloween!

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  8. Oh what a nightmare!! I am happy to hear that your stinky problem is under control!

    It sounds like your cold weather gardening is doing very well for you!

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  9. You sure do have some frost! I can't imagine going through that with a skunk! We've had a couple pass by but thankfully they haven't stuck around (one did but the neighbor got him). Our current issue is raccoons though but not in the house!

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  10. I love how eerie a frost makes things look! I am SOOO glad we don't have to worry about skunks over here!! You poor thing! Your garden is beautiful :) x

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  11. Love that frosty shot! I have a sunk of my own, under the shed....

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  12. Melanie-I'm amazed at your very long growing season, but , um, you can keep the 100 degree temps all summer!
    :)

    Robin-I'm learning! I used the cold frames the past few years in the spring....it's my first time trying it to extend the fall growing season.....and I'm pleased with it.

    Dave-I do believe there is a critter for every occasion! Good luck dealing with the raccoons!

    Marrissa-Frosty mornings are beautiful-and yes, a bit eerie too. I live way out in the country and though it's always quiet, the frost seems to "muffle" everything even more.

    Dan-oh dear! Good luck with that! Use a "live" trap. We were told they don't spray if caught in that. But, how you get it out of that is anyones guess...........
    :)

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  13. Our friend who borrowed our live trap to get his resident skunk shot it while in the trap. Dinged up our trap a bit but no skunk smell.

    Your garden in autumn STILL looks like something you would see in the pages of a glossy home and garden magazine. What a fantabulous touch you have.

    You have given me the hope and encouragement to try planting a fall garden again. Did so several years ago but it was a dismal failure. Now I want to try again.

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  14. Skunk scent is the worst! Glad you've gotten a handle on it. Yuk!
    You are really harvesting nice veggies.
    Your fall decorations are great even the odd mum.

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  15. WOW is all I can say...! Our frost has been mild so far this year, we actually have had beautiful weather. We too, had skunks and our dogs were victims at least 4x this summer. The skunk seems to have moved on...thank goodness. I've been looking at your blog for a bit here, what a huge harvest your garden provided...very inspiring!

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  16. Mama Pea-I just know that all of us are awaiting you getting back to the garden full swing. This was a terrible year not getting our good "garden fix" from you. I'm betting your going to pull out all stops and really have a huge one next year.

    Gardener on SS-thanks! The mum is the oddest thing ever--but I'm sort of attached to it now. At first I was going to rip it out, but now I'm just curious as to how it will come back NEXT year (polka dots???) LOL!

    Anita-4 times?? Oh my-I really feel bad for you. We had a dog that never learned. It was a nightmare cleaning her up,....only to be "sprayed" again a week later.
    Be glad yours moved on!
    :)

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  17. oh, no, not a skunk!! soo sorry to hear that...what a lot of trouble! enviable winter garden over at your place. just what I aspire for us to have! Hubby was unable to find broccoli plants this year, so I'm especially envious of your broccoli!! (thx for posting, Sue!)

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  18. Dmarie-you know you CAN start those broccoli seedlings yourself---I couldn't find any either. I was glad I had some leftover seeds--because they didn't have any of those left either. What is it with garden centers??? Don't they know gardeners gotta grow things all the time!
    :D
    Have a great weekend(thx for reading!)
    :)

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  19. I've never had a close encounter with a skunk, I just can't imagine having one in your crawl space!

    I love your pumpkin displays, especially the ladder. If I had more room to grow pumpkins, I'd decorate like crazy with them. My brother has 11 acres, but most of his is in grapes - I wonder if I can sweet talk him into letting me have a little pumpkin patch?

    Thank you for visiting my blog. I've added a post about what we do for edging the flower beds. Don't hesitate to ask if you have more questions. That's how we all learn...sticking together as we dig in the dirt.

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  20. Hopefully you didn't get sprayed yourself! I remember my grandmother telling me about the time she was sprayed and had to have several tomato juice baths to get the reek off.

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  21. Judy-it really doesn't take that much space---I grew two varieties--one in a 10x15 foot area, and one in my compost pile. They produce like crazy and you can trade em for things like Cookies---if you have a really great neighbor!
    :)

    Tanya-I didn't get it, and I certainly wish the house could take a bath in tomato juice.
    It's fading SLOWLY. Hopefully in another week we'll be "clear"!

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  22. Your gardens look amazing ! Hard to believe you are dealing with frost so early..our temps are rising here 33c and humid,Erk!
    I have no idea what a skunk smells like,but I dont imagine it is good,lol.
    I hope you get that under control soon :0)

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  23. granny-Thanks--our growing season is usually 85-90 days. Short, but sweet. We rarely have HOT days....and I'm glad of that. And I'm so glad that the internet allows ME to see YOUR garden just at the time of year I need to see growing things the most!
    Have a great weekend,

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  24. I am glad the skunk has gone your Dh is brave.
    I love your vegetable garden we have only just started growing vegetables here so its a bit hit and miss at the moment but a lot of fun.

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  25. Cathy-gardening is such a great way to get out and enjoy the day. A lot of work, but yes-a LOT of fun too. Thanks for stopping!
    :)

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  26. Sue, running way behind with reading posts, so sorry to hear about the skunk. I cannot tell you how many times we have had run-ins with them. We had one who was getting in the garage to eat the food the cat wasn't cleaning up and when our cat met up with him, the skunk sprayed my car...oh, boy, no Pine Tree air freshener is a match for that! YUCK. So, we shut the cat's door tight and the next morning, woke up to more than two full wheelbarrows of sand which had been dug out from under the garage floor. The silly skunk was determined to get to the cat food by digging under the garage. It took forever to cram all that fill back under the floor and I know it will crack eventually. Varmint! Normally they aren't as pesky as this one was, and I know full well what their odor can do to a person, it's absolutely horrendous! One of our friends had one get in through a broken basement window and the family dog went to the rescue; they had to vacate their house for a few weeks and their kids couldn't go to school. Gut-wrenching, retch-inducing musk....(I can't even wear perfume, lol.)

    Hope this is the end of the varmint.

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  27. Karen-you certainly hit the nail on the head. That smell--so "unreal"---it's certainly different up close than what you smell when one gets "squished" on the road. It truly takes your breath away.
    Sounds like you had a REALLY persistant one. We got ours--but will be more vigilant next time we see another one.......It WON'T get a second chance!

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  28. I'm a new follower and oh wow, sounds like quite an ordeal! :( Glad it is getting back to normal. I love your gardens! The flowers are beautiful and it looks like you have tons for space for growing veggies. Love it!! :)

    ~Lynn

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  29. Lynn-Thanks for your lovely comment! It's been a rough couple of weeks...and it's certainly NOT something I'd want to go through again.

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  30. OMG--a skunk in the crawl space??? It does not get much worse than that. I can't even imagine how to deal with it! I am just glad you found a way and it's getting better for you.

    I am impressed that you did get some fall decorating done with the skunk diaster. I did not do anything.

    I hope the rest of November brings a more pleasant smell to your home.

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  31. Zoey-it's called scrub scrub scrub. And then scrub some more. We're hoping time will take care of the rest. And the decorating kept me outside away from the smell. If this keeps up, Christmas oughta be spectacular at our house-LOL!

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  32. Your first photo is amazing. Actually, all the pictures are amazing. How do you end up with mums in the mound shape? Mine get taller and branch out all over the place, still pretty though. It must have something to do with trimming them back early in the growing season.

    I missed out on the skunk episode but I am so very sorry you had to experience such a thing and I hope it NEVER happens again.

    donna

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  33. Hi Donna-I never touch my mums. I trim off the previous years growth in very early spring, then let it be. I don't pinch them back or anything...I don't know--it might be the variety or something? They've always been really "mounded" like that.

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  34. Oh my, I didn't know about the skunk ordeal. What a trial! I don't envy you dealing with that. Glad your mums are still pretty, even with the cold. We've been quite warm, but it all ends tomorrow. Boohoo!

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  35. MsRobin-I have friends in Indiana so I've been aware of the warmth down there-WOW-that must be nice. But, unfortunately, all good things come to an end. I've enjoyed the extra months of blooms on your blog! Now what???
    :)

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  36. Oh my goodness Sue, you poor thing. Well at least the Mums gave you some sympathy with a lovely display. I must say though I was happy to see your post I thought you had left us till the spring. Love your pumpkin display...you do have an eye...so creative.

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  37. Carrie-I don't think we'll ever really get rid of me. I have a lot to say--LOL!!!
    Hope all is well with you. I often think of you-glad you took the time to post again!

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  38. Hi Sue, I too thought you were done for the season after checking your blog a couple of times. I'm glad to hear that you keep posting. Really sorry about the ordeal that you went through. Last year we put out a trap next to the cottage to try and catch a ground hop. We caught a skunk. I called a man that specializes in animal removal to get him out of the trap. He tranquilized him, took him out of the cage and took him to a remote location. A $100 poorer but no smell. Karen

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  39. Karen-we truly thought we were dealing with a groundhog also. Alas, we found out differently! Live and learn. I would have gladly spent $100 to avoid this fiasco!
    :(

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  40. Oh everything looks so pretty! I look so forward to reading your posts and will be excited to see garden time roll around again in the Spring!!

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  41. Alicia-thanks--I'll "see" you in the spring!
    :)

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  42. Hi Sue, I'm you're newest follower. I'm in metro-detroit and always like reading garden blogs of my Michigan peeps =) Look forward to reading more!

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  43. Hi Dorothy-I'm always glad to "meet" someone from Michigan. Though my zone is much colder, I think we can always learn things from each other. Looking forward to seeing more of your blog.

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  44. Wow, this is amazing my friend, I love the woods (background at the back) and I love the garden and flowers~ you know I really wish to live a place like that, we have tropical forest here and I really love seeing those places in the west, the atmosphere seemed too cool not like here, it's humid and hot even December is coming near. Oh, those flowers are very lovely! This blog is superb!

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  45. PrimeA-Thank you so very much for all your kind comments. I love the change of seasons --and would miss our snow very much.

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  46. Hi Sue,
    What a deal having a skunk stink up your place! I hope there are no traces left of it.

    I enjoyed your photos. Your place looks good in snow. That crow in the next photo looks real.

    You asked me about the lavender in my garden. I'm thinking the kind in the curb bed that is hardy here is Munstead. The kinds I have in pots are not as hardy, but normally survive in the egress window. I need to trim them all of them back in the spring.

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  47. Sue-thanks for the info. It's my first year trying lavendar-I've tried to put it someplace "sheltered", but the winter here is SO long.............

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  49. Hey your carrots look good too! I sure hope our broccoli looks as good as yours before it gets too cold.

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  50. Lucky for us, the island is skunkless. Raccoons are our varmints of place. They regularly hold seminars, classes and workshops on how to drive islanders crazy, from breaking and entering into chicken coops to removing bungee cords from trash cans. Wily waccoons, indeed!

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