Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Days are Numbered

The days are numbered and so is the harvest.  Just about the time you get sick of zucchini and pull out the plants leaving lovely tillable soil in place of a mass of failing vines, you realize that the half dozen zukes you have sitting in the basket on the counter is all there will be until next June.  Then you start counting how many tomatoes are left on the vine and estimating that in terms of sandwiches (which you also thought you were sick of but were wrong).  The garden days are numbered.  This morning there was patchy frost on the roof but the garden temperature was still 36.

I still have a beautiful bed of pole beans, two decent tomato plants, the sweet potato vines and the brussels sprouts.  I'm trying to get lettuce started but the other things are being dealt with one by one.  Soil is being returned to the dirt locker and pots are being put away.  The fences are on the landscape shrubs, and leaf blowing has begun.

Here is the Clematis Vine I cut to the ground in Mid-August.  
It is big and beautiful and blooming again.

The Nasturtium are doing pretty well this year.  I pulled out some scraggly ones, but about half of them remain.  No sign of aphids this year.

It sure took some trying, but the pole beans are beautiful now.  This is the third planting.  Both the Monte Gusto and Carminat are topping the trellis and producing super long, straight beans in yellow and purple.  I have Jade planted at their feet.  Not performing spectacularly as last year, but still good.  The beans were the only thing I was concerned may be touched by frost, but the dew was heavy this morning and they seem OK.

Above is the cleared out zucchini bed.  
Even after the plant is gone, the roots are still doing their job.

I am trying to get some fall lettuce started.  Last year it didn't work.  This year is a bit touch and go too.  After I shot this photo, I transplanted half a dozen romaine seedlings and a nice oak leaf plant that I started in the house under grow lights.  I will have a little salad, but it might not be a lot.  In years past I have been very successful and had lettuce into December when the plants just stopped growing and were eaten to the nub.

This year I am trying burlap over the seed bed to keep the birds out ( I have very efficient purple finches) and keep the soil moist and cool.  The weather has been hot and dry but we are getting temps in the high 60s all this week, so not good lettuce sprouting weather before now but still some hope.  No matter how well we plan, how hard we work or how clever we think we are, we are always at the mercy of the weather to some extent.

Also, I have already ordered the bulk of my seeds for next year.  Some things like potatoes will naturally have to wait, but the larger, long lasting seeds (like peas and beans) are all sorted and ready and the list of remaining seeds (like Sweet Corn and Lettuce) will be taken care of as soon as they are in stock.  I hope everyone is getting their harvest stored.  Canning lids and freezer bags are hard to come by these days and only natural hoarders like myself have extra.

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