The daylight is decreasing, the heat is gone and the tomatoes are done for. It hasn’t been the best year in Pacific Northwest history for gardening yet, I suppose it is all part of the cycle of things.
As fall approaches, I’ve done less in the garden, despite my proclamations to have a fuller winter garden, than I intended. I diligently nursed fall/winter crops from seed and planted them only to let the chickens ravish them. Oh well. It seems we’ll be buying starts this year to add to our always-abundance-of-kale.
Come along and see what is winding down. Also leave me a comment if you have any answers/thoughts to my questions!
Still looking strong. After I took the picture, I harvested all the green tomatoes & that ONE red one! See it? And ripped out the plants for (city) composting
The pole beans have reached the top of the old ladder trellis and are twirling around. Love it!
Black-seeded Blue Lake Snap Pole beans. What is your favorite bean variety? Bush, pole or otherwise?
Rattlesnake Snap Pole Beans. This variety was new to us this year and I love it!
Does anyone else prefer their green beans raw? I always think I should preserve them. Pickle, can, freeze….but really I just like munchin’ on them raw. Yummy!
Loads of green. Loads and loads of green. Green today. Enchilada sauce tomorrow.
Sigh. Even the cherry tomatoes didn't ripen except for a few random ones here and there. They look gorgeous though don't they?
Last year= swimming in hot peppers. This year= a few stragglers. Hopefully they'll be scorching and earn their keep!
We had a lot of powdery mildew that I just picked off as I noticed it. But it didn't stop the cucumbers from coming. I fermented a big batch and have made loads of delicious refrigerator quick pickles. Do you get powdering mildew? How do you non-toxically manage it?
First time growing winter squash. We planted 2 varieties of delicatas and they are doing great! They also have a lot of powdering mildew, but still going strong. I have no idea when I should harvest and store them however. Anyone with an idea?
Sprouts are getting bigger! I've heard pros and cons to snapping off the branches below the forming heads? Anyone have an opinion?
Rutabaga! About ready harvest. And figure out what to do with it. Ideas anyone?
....and we're done. Most the sunflowers have said good-bye. We cut some to keep for seeds and the others we leave for the birds.
Potato foliage dying out and ready for tuber harvest. I can't wait to see what we end up with. I forgot what I planted.
The black-eyed susan's are so cheerful! I love them!
Spiders...wow, have we had spiders! Anyone else with a plethora and/ or and explanation?
Asian Pears~ many are ready and I've been munching. We have a lot of columnar apples that I have been snacking on also. Crisp and yummy!
And! Our first egg, right at 20 weeks. Prize going to "One of the Annies," though we don't know which one. I have a hunch. The Annies are the Buff Orpingtons. Now, to get them laying in the nest box...suggestions?
Isn't she a beauty?
Look at the gorgeous yolk! It tasted amazing!
And I started on the reclamation of the parking strip. Seattle has decided that people can garden in their parking strips which is awesome! People have done it forever, but now it is encouraged. Some neighborhoods have had trees provided, including watering bags that are filled by the city (like us!). I began late spring by covering our weedy strip with tarps/black plastic because it was quick and it was what we had available at the time.
The area is now sheet mulched which is basically a great way to kill some lawn. There are many methods of doing this but they all involve layering different substances over doomed turf. This allows for items to decompose and add soil fertility. Come spring I’ll be ready to plant. We did this method for our raised beds with amazing results! The soil is fertile, worm-y and grows anything!
Look at this scraggly eyesore of a parking strip? UGLY. And unproductive. I removed all the plastic/tarps/bricks.
To get the project underway I raked all the fallen leaves off the hill on top of the weedy grass.
Next, I covered the leaves with straw. I edged the sides with old decaying burlap bags to help keep the straw from blowing out all over the neighborhood. I will top this soon with the dirt from the Tater Towers once I harvest the potatoes as well as some chicken droppings and bedding. The further layering will be followed by a good water soaking.
Covered with giant sheets of cardboard that someone who visited on the Edible Garden Tour gave me! (Thanks if you are out there reading!!) I need to add some more bricks/boards to keep the cardboard in place. Soon...
What are the plans you ask? We are thinking of a mix of native plants, pollinator plants (like the Pollinator Pathway in Seattle) and perennial herbs/edibles. The idea is densely plant the area to provide bird habitat, plants for beneficial pollinators, beauty and interest to an otherwise ugly corner and edible and medicinal herbs, etc. The area is not easily watered, other than by rainfall, so the plants chosen will need to be summer hardy as well.
So…what do you think? Plant ideas for the area? It gets morning shade, afternoon sun. It is near a busy corner and like I said, water access is an issue (but not impossible). I know we’ll be dividing black-eyed susans, daisies, crocosmias and lavender and planting a lot of sunflower seeds.
Hope you enjoyed the look around! Stay tuned next month for more meanderings.
Coming up this week is Can Jam- Stone Fruit!