Saturday, August 23, 2008

August 23, 2008

Well, I don't quite understand it, but I'm still ok. NO ONE in my family has ever escaped this. We know the illness like clockwork (though my youngest has been throwing up for the better part of a week now, so we're not sure about this one.  Anyway, enough about the sickies, this is about my garden.

Speaking of which, I actually got out in the beautiful weather today.  After getting a chastising call from my brother who stopped by to borrow back the family ladder, I did some spring... err.. fall cleaining.  I ripped out the wilted/bolted lettuce, the probably bolting broccoli and my brown pea plants.

It was a good thing too, because my compost bin was looking sad.

But on top of the ripped out greens from the garden, I had my stash of composting supplies to come to the rescue!

I worked them into my badly needed fluffing and folding of my compost pile.  I also worked in my kitchen compost, some of the dozen Starbucks bags of grounds, and my stored shredded bills (good use for them). 

And here's what the result of the fall cleaning...

I also preped the beds with some straight coffee grounds mixed into the top inch or so. It's darn near fertilizer at 20:1 CN ratio where 12:1 is fertilizer.  But what's even cooler about it (besides it's FREE!) is that being 20:1 means it won't burn plants like fertilizer will.  Mostly I did that because my new compost isn't quite ready since I keep adding to it, and my old is not quite the right mix with all that hardwood sawdust.

Anyway, you can't see it but I've planted some carrots that didn't germinate all that well so I need to replant quite a bit.  Though as a test I pulled up the thining and burried them in open spaces (no clue why I had multiples when I clearly planted one per hole).  I've also planted some lettuce that didn't germinate, which is odd because it's never had a problem germinating before.  Seems everything's problematic to germinate in the summer.  My spinach didn't come up well at all. 

My brother's building his hoop covers (going for the house look rather than a simple hoop), so I guess it's time I installed the brackets on the other two beds.  If I'm still healthy tomorrow I'll do that.  I should be.  I'm also hoping to corner my brother to do a pickling party.  Neither of us has done any canning but we're using my mother's set-up. And both of us has over a half-dozen pickling cukes on ice waiting to be pickled.  I don't eat pickles, but my wife loves them, so I'm hoping to make them for her (and I will have a bite since it's from my garden).

Oh, and while I was ripping the peas out, I found a handful of peas that I didn't harvest.  I recalled my brother purposefully doing that to harvest seeds for next year.  So I cracked open the pods and came up with this.

Not sure if they're viable or what, but I guess it couldn't hurt to plant them. /shrug

But on penalty of having my harvest stolen by someone happening by to borrow a ladder, I harvested my tomatoes, including the big one, which isn't big at all, but is the first ripe Momomato. 

It's odd that the first rippening fruit is on the bottom. I guess its because they're the "oldest" fruit.  And speaking of the lowest part of the plant. I noticed the lower leaves have spots all over them.  I admit I may have starved them a bit for water over the last week because I stupidly knew it was raining.  Not sure.  Any ideas?

Sorry for all the blurry pics, they look great on the tiny Blackberry screen. 

Now for a random potato bin update.  First, the Russet bin, which by my calculations, you can't even tell there is a bin!

Seriously, there is a potato bin there.  Hehe you can actually see it from the other side, which doesn't make sense as it's the north side.  Now you've seen the good, now the ugly...

No clue if the rain we've been getting was insufficient to keep them healthy, or they're telling me something. So I watered them deeply (both bins to be fair) and we'll see what happens.  One of my plans this vacation was to dig a potato. Maybe tomorrow.

Lastly, and this one's for Judy, here is an update on my Minnesota Midget cantaloupe...

I'm not sure if they know it yet, but there's no way this wacky summer season is going to let them mature.  I'm not even sure I'm going to bother errecting the trellis for them.  I can always just let them flow over the sides and do what they want.  Which won't be much since we skipped a month.

But aren't they cute?  They're real troopers.  Next year I'll start with plenty of time to let them mature, and find a top for this SWC. hehe

Well, that's it for tonight.  It was a bit easier today without my youngest (he was staying the night with Nana since he was the healthy one, well at least we thought he was).  My eldest wasn't particularly interested in the garden (he lacks patience), but we had fun outside and with his puzzle books.  Tomorrow should be fun if the weather holds.

Enjoy your garden!


  1. Hi! When you add your shredded bills does it matter if they are color? I heard before that you should stick to only black and white because the color inks can be bad- but I didnt know if it was true....


  2. With the Twin you’ll always have a place for yard and kitchen scraps, rich compost for your garden. Garden Compost

  3. Tanner:
    All the bills that were shredded had minimal if any color on them. However, I've used color newsprint without knowing if it's organic or not. I guess with pressure treated lumber I'm less concerned without knowing the exact dangers involved. If you want to be safe, then avoid it. I just saw free compost and grabbed it.

    Garden Compost: Great site, unfortunately your comment reads more like spam than a useful comment. Sorry about that. However, I gave you the benefit of the doubt as you're comment was different from the 30 spam comments I'm currently getting a day.

    Both of you, thanks for reading my blog!