Saturday, September 20, 2014

16 tons

Today my SO helped me move the dirt from the patio beds to the newly located blueberry beds. It was a lot of dirt. Without his help, it would have taken me days, assuming I did no lose heart and give up. He truly helps my gardening dreams come true.

Re the rest of the garden, I can't wait for a hard frost. I am so sick of zucchini and tomatoes, and am eager to harvest the pumpkins, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes. The fall plantings show mixed results: some beans, some kale, something else as yet to be identified (turnips?), the rest no-shows.

Re the incipient mini-orchard, I have been taste testing apples. Today I went to a farmers market and picked up an apple sampler: Jonagold, Swiss Gourmet, Cortland, and Sweet 16. The vendor also turned me on to a new resource, Orange Pippin. I see an orchard tour in my future.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Continuing to wind down

I'm not much for fall clean up. Those late bloomers provide nectar and seeds for wildlife, then winter interest for the most part, especially when capped with snow, and finally something to do in March when I want to be out in the yard but it is too early to do much of anything. The only exception I make is the vegetable garden, as a good clean up makes for a better garden next year.

Toward that end, I spent an hour or so thinning the raspberry bed yesterday. While very prolific this past summer, the plants produced berries that were a bit small for my tastes. I'm new to raspberry growing, so last year simply removed the old canes. This year I also thinned the new ones, with the goal of keeping one cane for every six inches or so. This was accomplished by removing the more spindly ones. Theoretically, my efforts should result in larger berries next year. I also cut out the trumpet vine that threatens the patch (if you ever plant trumpet vine, put it out in the yard where you can control its runners with a mower), fed the bed with composted horse manure, mulched, and rearranged the fencing that holds the canes upright and keeps the bunnies out. Overall, good work and a good workout.

What are your fall garden rituals?