A few updates on Green Man’s Grotto:
- We finished all the transplants mentioned here and both of the original raised beds have been doubled in depth. The third, newish raised bed has been cleared of everything except Purple Poppy Mallow (aka, Winecups) at each end.
- The only thing remaining to be done on the grape arbor is the addition of some trellis on the sides (for plants other than grapes) and painting. We can finish that up on any warm winter days now and then.
- Pond plants are overwintering well in the basement so far.
- We’re checking our old vermicomposting bin every day for any remaining worms and transferring them to the Urban Worm Bag. Once that is complete, we’ll take the compost in the old bin and spread it on the raised beds.
- All of our fallen leaves have been raked up onto areas we’ll be planting in the Spring. The goal being, of course, to kill the grass in those spots.
The bees. Wow, I’ve been a bad beekeeper. Earlier in the year, a friend asked me to help him with two hives on his property. Unfortunately, because they’re on his property several miles from me, they’ve suffered from “out of sight, out of mind.” I’m way behind on learning about beekeeping, but I plan to remedy that this winter. Honestly, it’s this lack of knowledge that bothers me the most because I don’t know if I’ve harmed their chances of making it through the winter.
In any case, winterizing the hives has involved the following:
- Removing two extra boxes that were added too late in the year to have any food stores in them. Leaving them there would mean the bees would have to heat extra space with no nutritional benefit.
- Cover holes with hardware cloth to keep out mice.
- Building and installing candy boards. Thirty-three pounds of sugar divided between two hives!
If they make it through the winter, I will do better next year. Fingers crossed.