Finishing up the Fall Cleanup

The sky this afternoon was beautiful. It was not too cold, so I decided to finish up my fall cleanup. I pulled the last chard and flower stalks, dug up the dahlia tubers and weeded the remaining patch in the back. All that’s left is to cut back the asparagus in a week or two. The only thing still growing is a few kale plants, two rows of fall greens and the walking onions. The garlic is covered nicely in hay. Looks like my plot is ready for winter.

Planting Garlic

I planted about 60 cloves of garlic this afternoon, half and half softnecks and hardnecks. I noticed that some of the hardneck garlic in my pantry was infested with onion flies, I could see the maggots inside the base of the bulbs. So I took all the heads apart to check and tossed the affected ones. Now I have a big wooden bowl with mostly single cloves and some quarter and half-heads. I hope they will not rot prematurely.

I am not sure where the onion flies came from. Probably from the plot. So I picked the farthest spot away from this year’s garlic to plant next year’s crop. I mulched the garlic with salt marsh hay. This will be the only hay I use over the winter into next season as I am still trying to get rid of the pill bug infestation. I had to do much more weeding this year but it did seem to have worked to reduce the pest.

Plot today. I still need to do more weeding and take care of the mint mess in the back in front of the asparagus. I also need to dig the dahlias soon.

Fall Planting

While I was working in the garden this morning, a fellow gardener told me that today was National Sunflower Day. So, here is my contribution. I love sunflowers. This one is ten feet tall, so I can’t even pick them to bring home. It is all good as now the entire neighborhood gets to enjoy them this way.

I did some weeding and clearing today and transplanted a scraggly looking Kagran Summer head lettuce and some basil seedlings. I also sowed more fall greens, radishes and more pole beans.

The glass gem corn is flowering and looking great. The squash vines are all over the place and there are many flowers, but so far, I have not seen a fruit. The cucumbers are winding down, I pulled the vines from the pickling cukes, there is only the slicer left and I might get a few more fruit from the plant. I harvested a few carrots as well.

The tomatoes are still going very strong. The chard and kale are very short for some reason. Not sure whether they are shaded too much by the corn and tomatoes or whether they just had a slow start. I pulled the parsley as it was dying. Again.

Mid-July

Dahlias, zinnias and asparagus

I spent some time in the garden today weeding the spot where I pulled the garlic a few days ago. I planted carrots and beets there and saved some space for fall greens that will go in the ground in a few weeks. I also sowed more pole beans, as some of the plants had been chewed down to their little stems by, I suspect, a rabbit. My harvest: a couple of pickling cucumbers and flowers.

Softneck garlic

I also cleaned the garlic today and hung it in our back stairwell to cure. In about two to three weeks, I will braid the softnecks and destem the hardnecks and store them for the long-term.

Softnecks on the bottom, hardnecks on the top behind

Peas and Carrots

This afternoon, I thinned my carrots (they are supposed to be rainbow carrots, but so far no deep red ones yet) and harvested my last handful of peas. I also took out the pea plants, weeded the plot (we had a lot of rain these past few days) and planted Kentucky Wonder pole beans in the spot where the peas used to be. I also planted nasturtium, which I somehow had forgotten to do earlier this season.

Carrot thinnings against a green backdrop of zucchini, cucumber, kale, Zinnias, onions, Chard, more carrots, beets, garlic and borage.

The garlic is starting to get ready, which is early. I typically harvest at the end of the month. But we had two heat waves, the last one just last week. With the heat and the rain, everything is speeding up this season. I also sprinkled Epsom salt around the base of the tomatoes to fertilize. Over the next few weeks, I will give all plants a nice seaweed/fish emulsion treatment. I have a few “naked” spots in my plot and plant to fill them with beets, carrots and lettuce.

Plot July 5, 2021

Weeding and Harvesting

After

Today I spent an hour and a half in the garden weeding and harvesting peas and lettuce. I will have to do more weeding this year because I am not using hay to mulch. I am trying to get rid of the pill bugs that wreak havoc on my tender seedlings and my berries. They like decaying vegetation, and I tend to find them on the underside of the hay. My idea is to deprive them of their food source and their living space. So, I will need to stay on top of the weeds before they take over. I have high hopes that my three winter squash plants will help cover the entire plot, giving the weeds no chance. Fingers crossed.

Before

Fully Planted

Today, I planted the remaining seedlings. I meant to do it last weekend (Memorial Day Weekend), but it was so rainy and cold (in the 40s at night) that it seemed wise to wait. In order to make space, I had to take out most of the walking onions and six humongous leeks. I planted 2 eggplants (Fairy Tale and Ping Tung), 1 pepper (the mystery one), 1 more tomato (Striped Roman), 3 kale seedlings, 3 Swiss chard plugs, 3 cucumbers (pickling, Dekah and Tokiwa), 3 winter squash (Butternut, Delicata and Lakota), 1 zucchini and 1 watermelon. I also interplanted the tomatoes with marigold, planted camomile and sowed glass gem corn among the squash and Zinnias with the Swiss chard. I don’t think I can fit anything else in my plot.

Seedlings before they went into the ground

The only thing not in the ground yet are green beans. I will plant some with the corn and squash once the corn has a good height and will plant a lot of beans after I harvest the garlic. Last year, I planted beans late in July and it was very successful.

Peas (and weeds), lettuce (and mint), tomatoes and Lakota squash
Cucumbers, lettuce, and squash (and a giant borage)
Parsley, baby lettuce mix, eggplant, camomile, tomatoes, kale, bok choi

Early May Planting

I spent a few hours in the garden today, weeding, spreading manure and planting. I sowed a few more peas (to fill in the gaps), rainbow carrots and beets (Chiogga and Burpee Golden). I also planted lettuce mix, head lettuce, flat leaf parsley, one curly kale plant and some Bok choi. (The Bok choi and lettuce mix came from Neighborhood Farm).

The overwintered leeks are looking nice and strong. I will pull them in the next few weeks. The arugula and spring greens and overwintered lettuces are looking good as well. And I have peas this year! So far they have not been destroyed by rabbits or birds.

Peas
My tiny purple asparagus patch

Porch Herbs

Whole Foods had an herbs sale ($2 each), so I got English lavender “Vera”, creeping rosemary, common thyme “Faustinoi” and sage to put on my porch. I also got two parsley plants to put into the big planter with the flowers.

Parsley and grape hyacinth. I pulled the tulips today as only one of them flowered this spring. I will plant more in the fall

I will add more herbs to this container plus a plant in the center, probably an eggplant or pepper or perhaps a dwarf tomato. I love having herbs on my porch. I still have my old, woody rosemary from two years ago (I overwintered it in the kitchen), and my chives from last year (they overwintered on the porch). And I will plant cilantro and basil, and mint of course (which I will dig up from my garden plot. I can’t seem to get rid of it.)