Nature Almanac for October 2021

thin leaf sunflower
Thin Leaf Sunflower volunteering in my garden.

Here in Philadelphia…

Autumn is here! The weather has finally cooled. The leaves have changed to yellow, golds, and red yet. They just look a dull olive green. The fresh deep green of summer is gone.

My tomatoes producing the last of the harvest. I cut off the top of the Cherokee Purple vines. This is supposed to stop the vines from forming new fruit and concentrate on ripening the tomatoes on the vine.

The vines are still green on my Cherokee Purple tomatoes. The Sweet 100 tomatoes died. I never did find out who was eating my Cherokee Purple tomatoes. Whoever it was waited until they began to turn red to start feasting. I just picked the green ones and ripened them on a window sill.

kale_leaf_lacinto
Leaf of Lacinto or Dinosaur kale in my kitchen garden.

The first frost is due around October 31st, Halloween. The growing season is over. I already planning for next year. I decided to create a new pollinator garden instead or remaking the existing one. The existing bed will become a new vegetable bed for my ever growing kitchen garden.

I finished reading, Kitchen Garden Revival by Nicole Johnsey Burke. I like the simple, easy, low-maintenance approach to keeping a  kitchen garden. Kitchen gardens are small (around 20 to 250 square feet) vegetable gardens close to the kitchen door. It serves as a “grocery store”. I spent the summer harvesting swiss chard, scallions, tomatoes, lettuce, Asian eggplant, bell peppers, and fresh herbs for meals. My food was organic extremely fresh and local.

Speaking with fellow gardeners who complained of little fruit form their tomatoes, peppers, melons and other flowering fruit, I asked if they had pollinator plants nearby. They didn’t. I suspect that is the reason why for their low yield.

zinnia_annual_flower
Zinnia, a pollinator flower, in my garden.

If you plant a kitchen garden, plant pollinators attracting flowers, also. Zinnias, marigolds, cosmos, flowering herbs will attract the very same insects who will fertilizer your tomatoes. Everything is connected.

Did You Know?

The star cluster, the Seven Sisters, shall appear in the night sky around November 1. As this star cluster appears in the night sky it has signals a killing frost is possible.

How Long Does Autumn Last?

Autumn lasts from the autumnal equinox September 22, 2021 to December 21, 2021. That’s 90 days.

Autumn Equinox – September 22, 2021

Winter Solstice December 21, 2021

vegetable_chard
Chard ready to harvest

In the Sky This Month:

  • October 6th- New Hunter’s Moon – New moon always rises near sunrise – waxing
  • October 12th- First Quarter Hunter’s Moon  First Quarter rises near noon – waxing
  • October 20th – Full Hunter’s Moon – Full Moon always rises near sunset
  • October 28th – Last Quarter Hunter’s Moon – Last Quarter rises near midnight – waning
  • Moonrise occurs about 50 minutes later each day

Best Fishing – When the Moon is between New and Full

October 6  – 20th

The Sky This Month on Astonomy.com

white snakeroot
White Snakeroot and Blazing Star seed heads

Autumn Happenings

  • Groundhogs go into hibernation along with chipmunks, and voles.
  • Cranberries are ready to harvest just in time for cozy, delicious and filling autumn meals.
  • Ducks, geese, and swans migrate south to find food.
  • Raptors migrate south to the southern U.S., Central, South America and the tropics following their food, the song birds.
  • Monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico.
  • White Snakeroot, New England Asters, and sunflowers are in full bloom.

Posts About Autumn

The Autumn Nature Journal

Why Do Leaves Change Colors? with video

Why Trees Shed Leaves in the Fall (with video)

 

Citizen Science Events to Participate In

Project FeederWatch

Christmas Bird Count

That’s it for this issue. Look for the next issue at the end of October.

If you have a comment or suggestion, as always leave a comment below.

Happy Nature Journaling!

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