Monday, September 30, 2013

Gardening in September...

There's been lots of work to do the last few weeks to make ready for fall; mowing down patches that were finished giving me food, turning over the ground (again, and again, and again), and working in more organic materials to replenish the soil.

One patch got all the compost from our trash can that we keep for food scraps.
We've started a bin for all gardens scraps- stalks, food the borers and beetles had their share of, etc

But before I go on-
I would LOVE to introduce you to my new one-true-love!
It's a hand-me-down pressure cooker:
Isn't it handsome!?!?!
And guess what it did for me today?
It cooked me a huge pot of red beans in THREE minutes! Yes- that's one-two-three- THREE minutes flat!
Where has this been all of my life?!?!
Oh!- Be still my beating heart!

Okay- enough gushing- onto the gardens!
Do you remember how I told you before that you could cut your onions and leeks off at the ground and they would regrow? 
Here's a green onion that's doing just that.
Notice the height of the other onions behind this one. The red arrow marks the previous cut line. You can see the white skin is quite dense there. It grew back much faster than I could have replanted and grown from seed!   It's only been about 2 weeks- for real! :)
In the picture below you can see several rows of different greens that I have growing. The chard is doing great but when you take a closer look, you see the others are not :(

(New beets are growing on the side I'm standing on.)

See? Yucky! They're eat up, buggy, and burned. Sigh. This is a Siberian Kale. I don't think I will plant this type again. Grr.
Meet the wild gourd vine:
The gourd vine has met the willow tree and somehow, they two almost appear to be one!
But- it's kind of cool so- I'm leaving it, mainly for Kyler. He's dreaming of Tarzan-like feats....swinging on the vine up into the tree! 
It has gourds that need to hurry on along!
(Perhaps we can paint them for fall!)

My favorite corner appears to know that fall is certainly here:
The zinnias are starting to brown, the sunflowers are starting to droop (and brown), but the cosmos still look pretty happy. 
You can see poke berries on the other side of the fence.

I am very excited about this fairly new fig tree. Last fall, I pulled out the other fig that was in this same spot that wouldn't grow. This took it's place in the very early spring. 
It not only has grown well, but it has fruit!
I have another that sets fruit in the late spring-early summer. 
Love it!

I've used my rain barrel water to make several batches of 'tea' for the garden. I mixed in a half bag of manure-biochar. The latest fashion in all-things-tea! ;-)
(I was cackling out loud the other day after watching the cat fall into this. Poor thing- but it sure was funny!)

Tempting mother nature with this bed!
Well, sort of. 
The radishes will be just fine and harvest before frost, Lord willing.
But- I tossed in some early cuke seeds that I found....maybe if I could cover them....maybe, just maybe.....

This beauty is the makings of a new blackberry bush from a shoot off the main bush in the front yard. 
I planted several more but this one looks to be the only one thriving well. 
If it does as well as it's mother bush, I'll have TONS of blackberries in a year or two!

And next to my new one-true-love, this holds me smitten!
The raised-bed-that-Kemmie-built:
Isn't it lovely?!?!
It holds lettuces, green onions, and short carrots. It's sort of like salad-in-a-box!
We will cross it with PVC pipe and cover it with a free plastic and see how long it will grow through winter when the cold comes in.

We still have much more work to do and lots of planting.
I dream of more raised beds and row covers.......but for now.......this keeps me happy...ah...dirt therapy!
Isa 58:11  And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.


The Prudent Homemaker said...

Donna your garden looks lovely. I love all of your new beds! I am so excited about your fall garden!

I just read about covering beds with straw through the winter in MICHIGAN and they still grew parsnips (which like a little frost; I hear turnips do too), Brussels sprouts, Kale (maybe those will do better after the frost kills the bugs; you could cut them back and see), Swiss chard, carrots, and a few more things.

We totally harvest our green onions over and over all year long. Eventually around June they flower and reseed themselves. I haven't bought any for 6 years!

Donna said...

Thank you Brandy!

I'm hoping to try that in some areas. I will need more straw. I'm hoping and praying I can do a few make shift row covers as well. (Send me a link if you see that again. I would like to know how thick, etc)

6 years!?!? Awesome! Mine get turned over so I've never let them come back BUT if I can one day do more raised beds (where the weeds don't take over) then perhaps I could let them reseed.

Weeds are such an issue here. With rain and humidity comes LOTS of weeds!

BitsofMoxy said...

Hello! You mentioned the Poke berries. To me they are weeds, am I missing something beneficial about them? :)

Donna said...

Moxy, sorry I just saw this. The berries, most claim, are a no-no. Poisonous. But, cooked the right way, the early greens are edible-again, if cooked.

I read that poke is being researched right now for it's cancer-fighting properties. Methinks they'll discover some good things about this plant!

Here in our county, they have a Poke Sallet Festival every year. People eat this stuff in the early spring, cooked up all Southern-like ;-)