Sunday, October 26, 2008

October 25-26, 2008

Well, this is going to have to count as my weekend post.  I didn't get in until after midnight last night and was exhausted so not post got done yesterday, though the pics were taken from then.

Of course Saturday started with painting at my folks house, but we ended early to get ready for each familiy's separate evening activities.  Thankfully mine wasn't until later in the evening, so I got TONS of time to work in the garden. Well not tons like a whole weekend, but several hours at least.  And the weather was a cool crisp fall day, so it was good for gardening.

I started by taking care of the mess I made Friday when I made my halloween decorations with my corn stalks.

The first thing I noticed was that the stalks didn't come out of the ground easy at all.  So I used my half-length pitch fork to lossen the root balls.  Then I pulled them up and tried to get most of the Mel's mix off the spider-web like roots before tossing them into my wheelbarrow.

When that was done I simply dumped them on top of my compost pile.  I know compost added to a compost pile is a good way to jump start it, but at the end?  Who knows.  Anyway, I didn't have time, nor the energy to fluff the compost.  I also didn't have a ton of ingredients to add other than the corn stalks.  So they'll just hang out until I get more fall leaves dropping and I mow them up to dump on top.  Should work nicely.

Once the bed was clear, I got 3 big bags of Starbucks grounds and mixed it into the top 6 inches.  I left some of the corn roots to compost in place because I didn't want to pick out all the little roots.

Then, it was time to do a garden tour.  Both figuratively and literally.  My sons' teacher stopped by for a garden tour, but before that I snapped some shots to show off what's been going on over the last week.  Get your fill of pictures now because next week's going to be another one full of late nights so no light for pictures.

Here is a shot of my hoop covers, all holding up very well so far.

I still don't have new piece of plastic to connect to the plastic mostly covering the bed in the foreground, but as you can see, I've figured out how to connect them.  I'll just clip both pieces to the back pipe with my binder clips.  Though I may order professional plastic clips.  They're about a buck a piece in bulk, so that's not bad. 

Now to show you what's in bed #3. 

It's cool to see the clear succession of the cauliflower, as well as the regrowth of leaves in the big middle one.  If you look close you can see the munched leaves on the bottom.

Here is bed #2, with the succession radishes in the foreground, the leaf miner infected mature spinach in the middle and the slow growing peas in the rear.  They should be much bigger by now, but they're growth has been slowed by the cold weather I expect.  What are growing well are all the mushrooms.  They like our soil here I guess.  Either that or my city compost's got them. 

Finally, here's bed #1...

In the foreground are the succession carrots.  You can't really see the sprouts in the row with the shroom in it, but they're there.  The next row is dedicated to my hoop cover temperature experiment that's going very poorly.  On that front, the temp difference is still holding true at 4-5 degrees difference, which would be great if it wasn't for the fact that it's colder INSIDE my beds then outside on the cold gravel covered ground. 

Behind the culprit of my garden anxiety is my succession lettuce.  I'm doing what Steve Solomon said to do for our region.  The big lettuce was planted in the first week of September.  I think it should be bigger than that but the weather sucked.  Next to that you can just see the sprouts of my October succession plantings of the same lettuce varieties.  Those are supposed to grow slowly, so as to provide winter lettuce in December and January!  I can't wait to be harvesting with an umbrella and a heavy coat!

Behind the lettuce is my cold storage for my mature carrots.  They're all ready to harvest, but we don't need them so we'll keep them in the ground until it's time to eat them.  Maybe if we do get colder weather they'll get sweeter, though I think the ground has to freeze for that to happen, and I will do everything in my power to keep that particular ground from freezing.

Lastly, I just love the fall colors, especially when they're all encompassed in my blueberry bushes.  Look how pretty the leaves look...

And of course between the two bushes I planted my garlic, but contrary to what I've read on the web with other folks, my garlic hasn't sprouted yet.  Not sure if it will. I'm doing the plant them and they will come method, meaning I'm not going to think about my garlic until next summer.

Anyway, now here are the new blueberry bushes.

Cool aren't they?  So that's the extent of my garden tour.  I didn't get out into the garden today, because I spent all day over painting. Then when I got home I just crashed and burned.  If I can't recharge next week's going to be hellish.  Thank goodness I can always grab a flashlight and head out into the garden for a few minutes.

Enjoy your garden.


  1. Did you try leaving the outside thermometer on the now-cleared corn bed? I wonder if the ground is radiating heat -- that might account for the slight difference in temperature.

    Also, I agree with Ribbit. Definitely swap thermometers one day and see if they tell the same story!

  2. It's good to see that your veggies are doing well under the hoop covers. I really don't understand why your temperature experiment is going haywire. It doesn't make any sense at all. Anyway, everything looks great, and keep up the good work ol' buddy!

  3. "Behind the culprit of my garden anxiety", thats funny. After reading about the gnomes comment I change my position and blame the temp difference on the gnomes as well.

    Looks like you still have a good amount of things growing. I wish I put up a hoop cover at the beginning of sept then I wouldn't have to resort to a cold frame now.

    Your garlic will take a little while to sprout, it has to root in first. In my area it will not break soil until early spring. Now in your area it may come up late fall/early winter.

  4. Toasty: YAY, you're back... where's your blog. Much as I like your irises, I'm pretty sure they look like mine now. I took your advice about the thermometer.

    EG: I'm pretty happy with the veggies in the bed. I just wish my lettuce would grow faster. But I've read everyone's is growing slowly this fall. Not sure why, should ask the lettuce...

    Dan: Funny, yep, that and eloquence is what I was aiming form. Thanks!