We’ve been busy here with cleaning up the gardens as well as planting fall and winter crops. This afternoon we went to work on cleaning up the church garden. The twine from the stake and weave training system needed to be removed, and the tomato vines pulled up. We are bringing the vines back so we can shred them up and put them on the compost pile. Another work session there and we should have it looking good and ready for next spring.
Yesterday I turned the compost pile I started 3 weeks ago. The pile had shrunk in size considerably, and was cooling down, so I wanted to get it mixed up. I am hoping to get this pile done before winter, and have the finished compost ready for use next spring. It had also dried out, so I watered each layer with a fish emulsion mix to give it some extra nitrogen. Hopefully that will get it cooking again. And now bin #1 is empty and ready for filling up with tomato vines and other organic material from our cleanup activities.
My wife has been busy cleaning up and mulching the blueberries and blackberries. She likes to go and rake up pine needles at a nearby subdivision to spread around the blueberries. Today I picked up some free used coffee grounds when I went to the grocery, and I will spread them around the blueberry bushes too. You can’t beat free pine straw mulch and coffee grounds for acid loving plants! For the blackberries we plan on mulching with some aged straw around the canes.
Last week I cleaned out the two cold frame beds and got them replanted with cool season crops like lettuce, spinach, arugula and pac choi. I pulled the basil plants that had been hanging out there all summer and made some pesto. The beds should give us greens on into December.
Inside the greenhouse the fall cucumber experiment is looking good. We’ve harvested only 3 cukes so far, but there’s at least a dozen more that are setting on now. It is nice to have cucumbers to go with our salads.
And speaking of salads, the deer may have eaten the lettuce I had growing outside in window boxes, but they didn’t get to the plants in the greenhouse. There should be enough in there to keep us in salads until the plants in the cold frame are ready. I also have some mesclun mix and arugula growing in planters in the greenhouse.
Hopefully the plants in the greenhouse will be safe from the marauding deer – as long as they don’t figure out how to open the door!