Friday, October 5, 2012

Slowing Down in the Fall Garden

It's been a long time since I posted!  That garden bed I talked about in the last post is now finished, mulched, and has a bunch of little plants (sacrificial lambs) poking out of it!  More on that later, though.

(Mostly) Fall garden
Here's what the community garden plot looks like right now.  There are still three tomato plants, though they are definitely on their way out.  The watermelon vine, freed from the shade of the gazillion basil plants and the exuberant buttercup squash vine, is trying to produce three more fruits in the waning daylight.  Peppers are ripening left and right, and the bean plants are beginning to dry out.  I still have summer squash plants in the front bed, mostly just because I prefer that to bare soil - production has pretty much stopped.  I mulched the older carrots with shredded tree leaves, and am looking forward to picking them well into the winter.  The first round of lettuce (that light green strip at the very back) is already trying to go to seed, so I've been picking quite a bit of that, plus there are three more planting rounds that I expect will keep maturing throughout the winter.  There are a few heads of cabbage that I think will finish before winter, and several more (plus a lot of broccoli) that will probably not be ready until spring.  Anyone want some basil?  We still have a few plants that I just don't know what to do with.  I planted some parsley where the buttercup squash was, though I'm not really sure if it will make it through the winter, being planted so late.  I just miss having parsley in the garden so much.  (N practically clucks at me every time we have to do anything as ridiculous as buy parsley.  I really have to pay more attention to herbs next spring.)

I have mostly been cleaning up lately.  Now that there are fewer daylight hours and the days are getting cooler, I am starting to catch up with the weeds.  I decided to renew the great cardboard project - I've covered about 90% of the paths with cardboard and wood chips, which I hope will last well into next summer.  In the process I've weeded most of the beds at least a little, and removed many of the plant stems and branches that were leaning into the paths.  All in all, the garden is looking much tidier. 

I think I will probably add a path along the right side of the plot, where the park service turned over a whole plot to "community space", with a picnic table and regularly cut weeds.  Technically the path will be in the community plot, but I think it will be a relief to the gentlemen who trim the grass to have a little buffer zone between them and my garden.  They always leave the weeds right at the edge uncut (truly, I do appreciate their consideration), which means I have to either trim them or let them shed seeds on my garden beds - mulching a strip seems easier.  If I have enough time before the weather turns I'll try to build a small bed over there, too, where gardeners can plant/pick at their leisure.  Well...we'll see if that happens or not.  ;)

R and I planted a round of garlic on the first - Inchelium Red.  I had three large bulbs, which provided only enough cloves to fill about 1/3 of the space I have designated for garlic next year.  I want to fill the rest of the space with cloves I harvested this year, but I am a little concerned about them.  When the papers are removed they have what look like tiny little pimples on the surface, which the internet tells me means nematodes.  Nematodes are tiny little worms that live in the soil and feed on the roots and/or bulbs of many, many different plants.  Most likely my entire community garden plot is infested with them, but I think I will still try heat-treating the cloves before I plant them.  Supposedly soaking the cloves in warm water destroys the nematodes so that they don't infest the soil of the new garlic bed.  Assuming it isn't already infested.

Well, this post is getting long, so I think I'll sign off and write more another time.  Hope all is well with all of you and your garden clean-up (or gear-up) is going well.


  1. I'll take some basil! I was going to call you this weekend to see if you want to hang out some morning this week. Talk to you soon.

  2. Hey Ellie,
    Enjoy the basil! If you want you can keep some of them in containers of water. Just change the water every couple days and they will grow roots!