Garden Wrapup

Mid october now, and the garden has had it’s first frost — this one killing off the remaining squashes. Garlic is in in the beds that had favas and corn earlier, and a few of the beds in the main part of the garden have been seeded with cover crop. There’s still a bit more cleanup to go, but there’s very little harvesting left to do.

A couple short months ago, we were at the tail end of a long, hot, dry spell, 3 months of above average heat and no rain. The yard wais crispy brown, and even the weeds were dead. Then the rains came back with cooler weather, stunting the tomatoes and starting a second spring around the garden. Trees that had trouble with the dry weather put out new sets of leaves, the blackberries plumped up, and the lawn turned green again.

As for next year. I think that the tomatoes could do with either being farther forward to catch later in the day sun, or of course, safely plopped in a greenhouse. Peppers really need the greenhouse. If we don’t do that, we should inprovise a plastic row cover of some sort. The tomatillo didn’t set any fruit. It’s the first time we’ve had one fail.

5 zucchini plants is really excessive, especially when you have a couple of weeks in August where they’re ignored and they have rain. 3 would do us in peak times. The pattypans did well enough, but they seemed to be incinsistent producers. 2 butternut squash plants produced 14 fruits, and that should do us for a good chunk of the winter. 5 pumpkins may be a bit much, but the two that came off the pucchini are worth all the effort. They’re long and thin as pumpkins go, or long and fat as zucchinis do.

The beans did well enough given the peak time was when we didn’t have the time to harvest.

The sunflowers were excellent. We had bunches of cut flowers anytime we went out for them and we barely dented what was out there. The big ones grew to 10 feet or so with foot plus heads, the little ones ranged from dandelion sized to a 9 footer. They shoudl probably move, but I’m not sure where to.

Tentative plan now is to put other crops where the squash were this year, move them to some combination of the main garden bed and the tomato bed. Move the tomatoes to the interstitial area where the squash was this year, transplant the strawberries that are invading the sprawly bed into the ex-garlic bed, and put potatoes in the sprawly bed. That opens up a bunch of the main beds for something else. We’ll see how well that plan holds up.

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