Ahhh, fall. Now that the tomatoes aren’t taunting me every time I go out to the garden (“Can me! How could you let me go to waste? You’ll regret ignoring me come March!”) and the mosquitoes are mostly a memory (no, you can’t see the welts…this is a PG blog), I’m able to give some attention to aspects of the garden that have been nagging me since, um, June? Not to mention the usual fall clean-up chores.
The usual fall stuff is hauling out the beans that have seen their final days, weeding the onion bed which has been fallow since what…July? and yanking out the deader-than-Bernie cucumbers to compost them. I also spread compost one all the beds and planted fall cover crops. Actually, one of my “cover crops” is lettuce, spinach, and other winter greens. Well, supposedly. That bed has come up all over brassica seedlings, and I have no idea wh…wait. I composted all those kale plants that went to seed. I bet my *compost* seeded those particular cover crops! So my idea to spread the compost, water it, and wait a week, then rake under any sprouts, was a good one…I just didn’t wait long enough. Hm. Ah well, there are worse cover crops! 🙂 I wonder if any of them will make it to spring? I refuse to cover the beds with straw, though. Too many slugs this year. I’m not giving them a place to hide this year. That’s one of the reasons I’m picking annuals to cover-crop. They’ll be ok through a few frosts, but hard winter should do them in.
The longer-nagging chores are last year’s winter kamut bed, now lost to weeds and squash, and the strawberry bed, which was infiltrated by quackgrass in a big way this year. The kamut bed is about half dug out, and I’ll plant that hundred mixed daffodil bulbs along the edge in an attempt to keep out the quack (I’ll believe it when I see it…). The strawberry bed actually went pretty quickly; my sweetie and I hauled out all the plants and most of the dirt, sifting it for rhizomes as we went. Dirt back in, strong strawberry plants re-planted, and I hope we don’t have to do that for a couple more years. I also pulled out the 2 surviving asparagus crowns from that bed, so hopefully they won’t sprout next year and tangle their feathery fronds in the bird netting we sling over the bed in June.
It’s so restful now to look out and see a clean, neat bed instead of another chore I haven’t gotten to yet.
The greenhouse is looking good, too: beans and snow peas are up and working on multiple sets of leaves; the chard that was ravaged by deer are putting out leaves; the fall crop of brassicas is under a new mini-hoop. I still want to replace the row cover with a cover made of fiberglass window screen, but that might wait until spring.
And alas, the huge chip pile remains unturned and drastically untapped as a source of heat, but oh well. Maybe next weekend…