Wednesday, October 22, 2014

And, Done!

The garden beds are clean and ready for winter.
Now to plan for next year!

Looking more and more like autumn here.  I just wish the locust tree would hold its golden leaves a bit more before dropping them everywhere.

I drained the rain barrels and flipped them over for winter.
Still have flowers blooming as we have not had a killing frost and it doesn't look like we will in the near future.  Just enjoying the nice days.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Making Progress

It took longer than I thought it would to clear the winter squash and pumpkin plants.  There were a lot of vines.  I did manage to get new soil on the second raised vegetable bed and I planted the garlic.
Still have the rain barrels to store for winter and a few other things outside that need to hibernate for winter in the garage.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Still Clearing The Garden

Beautiful warm fall weather is making it nice to do the garden clean up.  One raised bed is complete. 

 I should have dug my holes deeper though.  It's going to be close to have a place to bury everything.
I smoothed out the mounds.  It looks less like a graveyard now.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Still Clearing The Garden

Wednesday was another warm afternoon.  Perfect weather to be outside.  I did a little weeding in other parts of the garden before returning to the vegetable beds.
I cleared out the tomatoes and summer squash plants.
The rest will have to wait a bit as I won't have my afternoons free the rest of this week.  
There are some carrots in there to harvest and all the winter squash.  Peppers too, but they've slowed a lot since it's gotten colder at night.  We've been in the high 30s each morning this week.

I hope I have enough space to bury everything well.  These composting holes are working well for me.  Much better than the pile I tried that just dried out all the time.  I think our winds dry it too much and until recently, we haven't had the water to use on it much.

I still have a whole rain barrel full of water but we aren't suppose to get below freezing in the next week that I've seen.

All this digging is a workout!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Limestone And White Gourds

Tuesday afternoon was another beautiful autumn day.  I got a lot more clean up done in the garden.

I hope those mounds of dirt don't look too suspicious.  I'm just burying plant material, really.

Look, a pile of limestone!

The vines in the wild area produced these gourds/squash.
All are white except two.  They are yellow.

I don't know if my patty pan squash crossed with something last year or what caused these.  Only my patty pan squash has been white, but these are shaped wrong.

We won't eat them,  They'll be cute decorations for autumn/Halloween/Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Teepee Trellises Stored

Monday afternoon, I managed to free the teepee trellises from the jungle and tie them to the fence in the background of this photo for the winter.  I also scavenged a few gourds from the vines to sit out by the front door.  Well see if we can find the pile of limestone this week.

Monday, October 13, 2014

It's a Jungle

This is what we call the wild area.  Somewhere in there is a stack of limestone my wonderful husband acquired for free this spring, a moon flower plant that couldn't compete but bloomed well anyway and a hole I dug to toss my composting material into.  Otherwise, you're seeing a lot of volunteer plants; mostly squash and gourds from the seeds I tossed out last year, morning glories and sunflowers.

This is the vegetable garden.  With regular rains this year, the squash, pumpkins and tomatoes really grew--maybe too well. 

We have not yet had a killing frost.  October 12 is our average frost date so I shouldn't be surprised.  With so much plant material to work with this year, I feel like I need to start the clean up even if the plants are still growing.  The tomatoes and peppers have slowed down.  I've been waiting for the winter squash and pumpkins to finish ripening, but they can do that off the vine.  I will tackle the morning glories when they're not blooming so I don't feel as bad.  It is time to take it all down.  

Here's the plan:  cut the teepee trellises free and remove them, dig a hole using the soil to fill the current composting hole, fill the new hole with plant material from the vegetable garden and wild area, repeat previous two steps until soil from a hole can be used to top off the vegetable garden, end the process with a composting hole ready to use through the winter.  This may take a while.  

The wild area is kind of my soil factory.  By burying plant material there, it breaks down faster and the soil left behind is so wonderful that I use it everywhere to fill in beds and even put some in my containers.  It also means I spread morning glories around the garden a bit, but I just pull out the ones I don't want.    I'll report back on the progress.

Have a good week!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Rain Chased Me Inside

I did some more garden clean up Wednesday afternoon.  Nothing too exciting to take photos of though.  Mostly, I cleaned a lot of trash out of our "forest" and cut back some plants in our side garden.

Today, I did as much as possible when I got home from work until the rain chased me in.  We are getting the nicest autumn rain right now.  Makes you want to curl up inside with a book while cookies bake.  But, 'our baker' didn't start any while I was working in the garden.  Ha!

My main goal was to plant some tulip bulbs in this bed.
It still has cosmos blooming.

I cleared out the plants that were around the armillary sphere which included cutting some morning glories off of the sphere.  That gave me enough room to plant the tulips without losing all the flowers.

I cleaned up few other places, planted some crocus bulbs along the patio and put some garden decorations away into the garage while the clouds darkened and it started to lightly rain.  Eventually, it started raining very steady so I retreated to the patio.

The rain is going into our rain barrels still.
I need to empty them soon and flip them over for winter.

But, today, I hooked garden hoses up to two of the barrels.  Rain will go in the first barrel, overflow to the second barrel and if it is fast enough overflow to the third barrel.  I'm going to leave the hoses attached until they drain the second and third barrels.  I'll probably hand carry the rain out of the first barrel later to areas that need more water.

I put the hoses into garden beds (that they would reach) so extra rain water will help those plants.

Amazing that we're getting all this rain and haven't frosted yet.  Once I get the flower beds ready for winter, I have to decide if I end the vegetable garden plants or wait for Mother Nature.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Something Is Trying To Replace The Lawn For Me

I continued with some garden clean up today.

After weeding our front lawn well, I mowed it for the last time this year.  The yellow blooming plant in the photo below has been growing in our lawn all year.  It is spreading fairly well.  I've mowed it through the summer and it just plugs along and blooms when it gets the chance.

I believe the plant is a toadflax or often known as wild snapdragon.
I have some growing in my side garden too.

I plan on leaving it in the lawn.  Eventually, the lawn will be replaced with more interesting plantings.  Perhaps the toadflax will help lead me to making a plan.

I did some more watering and planted some crocus and some allium bulbs near our front sidewalk.

I tried my best not to disturb our front garden spider.  He/she has been hanging out between some euonymous bushes for over a month.  Some days it has a grasshopper in the web.  It is as big as you think it is.  I got as close as I dared with my camera to try and get a life sized photo.

It was a warm day again today.  Hoping to get more garden clean up done tomorrow.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Starting The Fall Clean Up

We've had a few frost advisories for our area, but so far frost has not settled in at Garden on Sherlock Street.  While I wait to clear out certain plants after the frost finds them, there's too much to do to wait much longer with the fall clean up.  I like to check over the garden to pull weeds, cut back a few plants and store some decorations and pots in the garage.  I also need to plant some bulbs and water everything well.  Since the tiny area where we have lawn hardly gets any leaves on it, raking is not on the fall cleanup chore list.  I actually hope for leaves on the flower beds.  Our neighbors across the alley have a large cottonwood tree which adds to the leaf mulch for us in the back garden.  Our locust tree has such small leaves that all I we have to do is sweep them off the patio and check the garage gutters a couple of times.  

Today, I cleaned the shelves in the garage to store items this winter.
Things usually land everywhere in there.  I had to get a photo to show that it can be neat. 

 We also have some attic storage above our garage where I stash a lot of plastic containers.

I checked over the shrub area in the front garden.  I have to leave the little decorative fence by the sidewalk to keep people from walking on my irises.  

I have a galvanized trellis between the lilac and the euonymus because I discovered the mail delivery person was cutting through there.  Really?  No wonder I couldn't get anything to grow in that space!  Plans for a decorative fence for our front garden are still on the future project list.  Ready now for the burning bushes to turn red.

The soaker hoses are running for this area as I type this post.
We have officially been removed from any drought status. Yea!!!
Our city's water wells are still low.  So we remain in a water watch.

Tomorrow promises to be another warm day.  We'll see what else I can get done.

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Friday, October 3, 2014