September 10th - 16th
I started planting my cover crops
The garden is starting to get a bit out of control, everything is growing out of their cages and flopping over. I was up on the hill trying to support the poblanos and eggplant plants. The eggplant plant ripped the cage out of the ground. The poblanos are growing out sideways about 2' past the cage. The tomatoes grew out of the TTC's and are growing anywhere they can. I may need to start cutting some stuff back and tying things up a bit.
Tabascos are starting to come in, a lot of my pepper plants really start producing in September.
This will give you an idea on how wet it has been, I haven't seen the sun in nearly a week. Needless to say, I turned my water off September 6th.
The excessive rain has pretty much destroyed my heirloom tomatoes as they are splitting like crazy, usually I can scavenge a few split ones and either eat them right away or, core, cut out the split and freeze, I always smell the cut area because sometime they start rotting underneath the split. Between sight, smell and feel I can pretty much perform a successful surgery. My unaffected tomatoes has been my "so-called" Rutgers tomato plant, not one split at all.
The water lettuce in the pond has done real well this year and I have been harvesting a lot of the lettuce during the growing season as a mulch. Here I am gathering some water lettuce to top portions of my beds for a cover crop.
The drip line is pulled up, this can be a chore with the roots entwined in the drip line, especially the roots from the oregano. The drip line is turned off by the small valve in the line, each bed section has its own valve. I will handwater from the Rain Barrel at this point. Everything is cut back to the soil level and chopped up and placed back in the bed, this is so much easier now that I have a pair of Felco pruners. The next step is to cover everything with some water lettuce.
A bucket of My compost is dumped on top.
Oats are added and lightly tapped in.
Another layer of Oats is added and a handful of Crimson Clover, then I tap over the whole area with my Hori Hori, followed by a good watering. The area is then covered until I get some sprouts.
Another bed done the same way but using the potting soil from my retired Vertical Tower.
Its been 8 days and every day is has rained to some extent, the Sun still hasn't made an appearance.
I've been slowly going through sections of my beds, pulling up the drip lines, chop and dropping weeds, some veggie plants and early season cover crops then adding compost and planting a fall cover crop (Oats and Crimson Clover).
I don't know what the heck is going on with this zucchini plant, no fruit yet but a ton of mushrooms. This soil with the mushrooms will be spread out over a few of the beds.
Eggplants are really putting on fruit, I'll be cooking plenty of eggplant dishes and giving some eggplant away, I wont be freezing any eggplant dishes this year.
Tomatoes have me totally disappointed, I have a lot of fruit that has set but most of the fruit that is somewhat red is split, half ripe and infested with gnats and ants, some I can save and some I can't. I definitely will be trying some Hybrids next year, the weather this year has been really rough on my heirlooms.
The "True Black Brandywine" and the "Cherokee Purple" really produced this year but more than half was not worth saving. The Brandywine Red tomatoes are not producing near as much but have had more salvageable fruit.
Volunteer Bok Choy.
Artichoke that will probably be removed and used as mulch.
Oats sprouted after 4 days
My rain barrel came in Friday the 14th, so I played with that a bit. Full post coming soon.
This weekend I got some yard work done, cut the grass, while I was cutting the grass I found a little surprise.
Let me tell you the whole story, anyone that reads my threads know that we rescue box turtles and have a few full timers in the yard.
Last season my daughter had a few she was rehabbing in the yard that wintered over then were released.
Well Speedy (full timer) was digging a few months ago and I figured she was going to lay some eggs, I didn't think much of it because the eggs are never viable.
Speedy digging a nest
Anyhow last week, I noticed a hole where she was digging and the hole looked like it was made from the inside out, sorta looked like a cave. When I peered inside I saw an egg that was broken open. I told the family that their may be a baby in the yard but there would be no way we would ever find it.
They all thought I was nuts, because both turtles in the yard are female. Well...this morning armed with a weed whacker I was cutting the lawn an noticed this little brown spot, I thought it was a leaf when I went over it with the weed wacker but then it started to move.
My daughter was working on her essays for vet school when I walked in and plopped it in front of her and with a smile on my face I said, "so ya'll thought I was nuts". She couldn't be happier. She went into care taker mode and made sure he/she was hydrated. Her assumption is it's at least two weeks old because the egg sack is completely absorbed, however she is worried that it may have been born too late in the season to survive.
OK back to the garden,
Made some more mulch.
Trimmed and cut back more plants in the veggie garden and have been adding compost and planting cover crops in the beds. Battled some Aphids and Ants on my Concord Grape vine with neem and dish soap.
Drying some herbs and making some infused Olive oil.
Chopped and dropped around the tree then mulched.
Mulched the grapes with coffee grounds and shredded cardboard mulch
My compromise pot, she wanted flowers and I wanted veggies.
Oats are coming up nicely.
I forgot all about the Okra seeds that I tossed in here a while back.
Maypops are going nuts in the back yard.
I had my buddy over and loaded him up with some veggies to take to his moms, she was thrilled. I'm now trying to get him into gardening, we'll see!
This poblano plant is so loaded with peppers that branches were snapping off.
This is from one branch that snapped.
My first year with yacon
I have no idea what this is.
Finally got a chance to work on a few stumps, I got tired of tripping over them.
Sour Cream and Chive scramble with sweet peppers and a side of Garlic toast with Olive oil and crushed red pepper.