|My beds are overgrown with morning glories, Bermuda,|
and other grasses,so that the beds all seem to run together.
It's been a challenging year for gardening with seemingly nonstop rain, no sun, and mud topping the list. Then there's been poor germination (too much rain?) and scant harvest (too little sun?) I've also lost this year's battle in my ongoing war with wire grass aka Bermuda grass. I started early with heavy mulch, like about 8 inches in the asparagus bed, for example, but the wiregrass spread right out over the top of and took over.
|Jerusalem artichokes blooming. Morning glories|
and mature summer squash brighten the foreground.
Then there's the ants. If I was in the chocolate covered ant business, we'd be millionaires. They are always a problem but worse this year. These are the small biting kind and their bites hurt and leave welts. I'd say every time I was out in the garden I got at least half a dozen bites. It took a lot of the fun out of it for me.
|Wild muscadines. We haven't had these since our first year here. I didn't get |
many because the goats eat the vines. The rest grew too high up the trees.
The summer harvest was not abundant which has meant I've done very little canning this year. But, we had enough enough for daily eating for the two of us. I won't complain about that.
All my corn has done well, thanks to plenty of nitrogen this year. I previously mentioned that this has been an abundant year for compost, of which the corn benefited greatly.
|Japanese Hull-less popcorn. Probably not a year's worth,|
but I'm thankful for what I have!
I've had excellent pollination with almost all kernels developed, also, very few problems with disease and insects.
|Earth Tones Dent Corn, seed from R.H.Shumway.|
How could I resist anything with a name like that?
|Husking helpers. I save the leaves & stalks to feed the goats.|
Still to harvest are my sweet potatoes, field corn, cowpeas, and orange cushaw winter squash.
|Orange cushaw winter squash|
I decided to try these this year instead of pumpkins. I've used them in the past as a pumpkin substitute and no one was the wiser for my "pumpkin pie." They certainly have done better than my past pumpkin attempts. I will harvest at least two huge ones before first frost.
Of my front yard herb garden, I have very few new herbs. I planted 15 types of seeds, but very few germinated. The sweet basil I planted with the tomatoes, catnip near the house, and marshmallow in the front yard.
I've been planting the fall garden bed by bed: kale, beets, carrots, onion seed, lettuce, radish, and broccoli so far. Unfortunately, the deer have been grazing the tops off of the beets and nibbling on the sweet potato vines.
|Various types of purchased cabbage plants|
Even though I have the seed, I bought cabbage and cabbage-collard plants. Time got away from me!
|Watering with collected rainwater.|
We had a dry spell during the first half of September, so I watered the new transplants with rainwater from our rainwater tanks. The sprinkler above is primitive by modern standards; it has no moving parts (but never breaks!) Between the tanks and gravity, I get just enough pressure to water the width of the bed.
With first frost expected this month, it's time to finish fall/winter planting. Throughout the dormant season we'll rake and haul the zillions of leaves on the ground, and pile them in the beds as a blanket of mulch. Like tucking the garden into bed for it's winter rest. All the while I'll promise myself I'll stay on top of it next year, knowing that next year will likely be the same and that a year from now, I'll be shaking my head at what an overgrown mess the garden is. Ah well.
The Garden at Change of Season © October 2013