Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fall clean up in the garden

Today was the most perfect beautiful fall day. It was amazing. The air was crisp and sharp and smelled wonderful like wood smoke, freshly cut grass and crinkly dry leaves. I spent the majority of the day outside in the warm sunshine working on the garden fall clean up. I can't believe how badly I ignored the garden this year!

My poor tomato bed was (and sadly still is) a total mess. I never got around to clipping anything back and it became such a jungle that I wound up with very few toms because of A.) bad weather and B.) not enough air circulation. Things rotted on the vine before I could get to them and half of them I couldn't reach in the tangle. Plus the big icky spiders kinda scare me. Heh. (and yes I pulled those big ol weeds in my gravel path today!)

I did manage to clear out the "sisters" bed (corn, beans and squash) which were all long done.

After clearing out the bed I wound up with about a dozen of the sugar squash (off three vines). I'm pretty excited to try these! This was the first year growing them and since I'm pretty much the only one who eats squash in our house these little one size servings should be just perfect for me. I'm looking forward to roasting a few - I'll try to remember to report back in and let you know how they turned out.

I'm also excited that I finally got ONE of the mini chocolate peppers to ripen. Last year was a total bust. I'm planning on noshing it for lunch tomorrow in a fresh spinach salad.

Miss S is also getting to big enough that she's able to entertain herself while I work in the garden. Sometimes she tries to help...
...and other times she gets up to mischief! (... like "stealing" tools out of my bucket!)

She helped me collect a few things from around the garden today... a few good tomatoes, some jalapenos and a couple of carrots.

I didn't quite realize just how out of hand things were till I got to really looking at the back corner by the compost and discovered a blackberry vine that had started to take over. I know they're quite tasty and yeah, we ate all the berries we could find today (!) but that doesn't mean I didn't rip that sucker out. They're so invasive here that if I let it go our whole back yard would be a berry bramble in six months. lol

As I was digging out the blackberry root a giant earthworm slowly made it's escape. That baby was huge!

I only wish that I hadn't run of room to put stuff. I managed to FILL three cubic feet of compost bin and two really large city yard waste bins today. I'd have kept going if I'd had a place to put the plant debris. But at least it made me stop and just enjoy the outdoors and my sweet little family this evening. (DH was loitering around in between working on the car in the garage... those berries didn't eat themselves ya know!)


Malay-Kadazan girl said...

It always feel good after a clean up. Thats a nice harvest of squash you have there. You have a cute little helper with the cleaning up.

Daphne said...

I've been slowly cleaning up my garden over time. Mostly in September though. I still need to get out and pull down my one dead tomato. Soon the other two left will go. They are slowly dying.

Randy Emmitt said...

Those Sugar Squash like great, I'd certainly help you eat them. Seems you did manage to get a nice harvest yesterday.

It was a bad year here to grow veggies, we'll have to look into good drip irrigation next year. I harvested lima beans yesterday too, but we did not plant them this year, seeded from the year before.

Engineeredgarden said...

Well, Miss S is growing like a weed, ain't she? It's good that she's big enough to help a little bit now. The tomatoes look beautiful...what kind are the black ones?

Toni-Shaklee Distributor said...

Hi Jenn!

Those squash are so interesting! I love squash too! I grew spaghetti squash for the first time.

If you harvest any of the seeds and want to share.. I'd love a few!

What a nice little harvest.

My garden is done except for my hoop house experiment. I've got greens in there... spinach, chard, arugula, beets... Been cold at night dipping down into the upper 20s... burr!

Just Jenn said...

Daphne, I've got one that's completely dying but the other three seem to be hanging in there despite that we're starting to see our first frosts and freezing night time temps of the season.

Randy, come over and we'll feast! It'll only be a small shame to have to eat them all by myself. ;^)

EG, she sure is! I grew the sweetheart grapes again (my favorite!), a new type of roma that is super meaty and there are two blacks, San Marzano Gigante (which were *lovely*) and Black Prince.

Toni, I did peek in at your blog the other day and saw the hoop house! I think I've got some seeds I could send you, sure! Can you send me your address?

Just Jenn said...

Thanks Malay!

Toni-Shaklee Distributor said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shawn Ann said...

Well, I can't imagine why you wouldn't have time for your garden! LOL! I know I have a difficult time getting out there with my little ones! But I love to have them help when they will! Yours looks about the same age as my twins, and my boy LOVES to help! The other one likes to steal the loot! Everything looks really good though. You have a great selection there! Nice squash!

Heather said...

Your squash look wonderful. I'll have to try that kind next year, single serving size would be quite fun.

Just Jenn said...

I roasted up one of the squash yesterday for lunch and it was mildly sweet, with a lovely rich squash taste. The texture was akin to an acorn squash. This was a great variety that I'll definitely plant next year.