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Old 01-10-2017, 02:43 PM posted to rec.gardens.edible
songbird[_2_] songbird[_2_] is offline
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,885
Default october already!

i'm not sure where September went. too quickly
by for sure...

garden news, still working on the first strawberry
patch. we had hot enough weather that i didn't
accomplish much last week. finally we catch a few
days of cooler weather with some rains. not that
it helped make the subsoil i'm removing any easier
to break up. stuff is like concrete. no surprise
the strawberries in there didn't do that great, but
the subsoil is a foot and a half down, the top layer
wasn't too bad.

i'm going that deep because i've wanted to lower
this patch ever since it has been there. no reason
to mound it up really other than a few flash floods
which don't last long enough and aren't a bother to
strawberries anyways. should have the flash flooding
under control well enough anyways now.

and i can move the tulips out of there that i've
already dug up several times, but always miss a few.
i suspect i may still miss a few anyways... and some
deep rooted weeds that are best removed carefully by
hand so as to not break up chunks of the root which
can regrow (sow-thistle, one of the worst garden
weeds for clay).

yesterday i finally filled in the center part i'd
dug out and it is already replanted. filled it in
with a mix of sand, stuff that needs to rot eventually
(bean shells and squash vines/leaves), and stuff that
is already mostly rotted (wood chips/pine needles)
along with some of the existing clay (about 1/4).

now i won't need a pickaxe to weed it and if i've
missed any of the sow-thistle root pieces it won't
be so hard to get the rest out of there.

mainly though, i get to redo the edge of the patch
so i don't need to crawl over or around rocks to get
in there to pick or weed. there's way too many ankle
breaking/twisting rock edges as it is. i'm gonna
flatten this puppy out and give me spaces to go through
and figure out something else to do with the rocks...
the stepping stones i already have are flat enough.

i still have wheelbarrows of dirt/subsoil to move
and as usual one project begets another. i've been
scraping some of the old decayed woodchips from the
garden where the lima beans are growing. and there's
yet another ankle breaking/twisting rock trench along
there that is begging to be dealt with. so... i'm
going to remove the rocks and fill it in so it will
be brought up to the level of the neighboring path
and the whole area will be a garden i can have
several rows of beans/peas or whatever instead of a
narrow strip surrounded by woodchip mulch (not very
productive use of the space before, but it was a
flower garden that has been removed and turned into
veggie production now). that's a few hundred more
square feet of full sun space and the soil is very
nice in there already. i'll use some of the
decayed wood chips in there too, but most of them
are going to end up in the strawberry patch as i
will then not need to do anything in there for a few
years other than to weed and top off a little at
the end of the season (after the ground freezes).

at least that is the plan...

today a little painting too, the garage sill i
put in this past spring is holding up and sticking
well, a few very tiny cracks are showing from the
differences in cement batches i did when i was
putting it down (hand mixing in small amounts i
couldn't get it all mixed and placed at once). it
needs to be protected before the winter gets here
and we start dripping muddy/salty water on it...
hopefully three coats will do it (or until the
quart of paint runs out).

in other news, still picking and shelling beans,
the rains we so sorely needed were not really wanted
now with the beans finishing up, but that is usual
for me and the later fall. the push-pull of wanting
rains because when it is too dry some of the gardens
are too hard to do much with (the rest are much
nicer now after years of planting, amending and
giving the worms plenty to work with) and the desire
for things to be dry so that the beans won't rot or
start sprouting in the pods before i can get them
picked. it really hasn't been a great year for the
beans. strange weather, high heat, storms at just
the wrong times, cold spells, etc... the plight of
a gardener. i have planted enough varieties that
i'm getting some return for my efforts but it is a
fraction of what a normal year can be like (was hoping
for between 50-100 lbs, will be more like 30lbs) most
plants the pods are empty or only a few pods have
beans. at least the ones i was most worried about
not having anything from i have been able to find
some pods with beans in them now to restock a little
of the seed supply. they are a very nice thin green
bean and the seeds are long and narrow and they are
apparently very finicky about setting seeds. i
could have eaten a lot more of the beans but i left
almost all of them because i wanted to restock the
seed supply.

tomatoes are done and gone, the plants need to be
taken down and buried. peppers are still doing ok.
there should be a few red ones out there to harvest
in a few days. squash is in and curing. we had
a wheelbarrow full (much better than five wheelbarrows
full). the quality is overall very good compared to
last season. only two that i've noticed will have to
be cooked up right away (instead of several dozen).
not having much rain the past month and a half kept
the fungi from doing much or even starting up at all.

ok, enough rambles, time to get busy, ...