It's fall in the garden now. I've
been ripping out my summer plants for a while. Notice there are
less tomatoes then there were. Lots of seedlings that are hard to
see in this picture. Mounds of fresh compost around the big
plants I hope to keep. Also, the big tree off the right edge of
this picture is starting to shade the right end of my plot. As the
year advances the shade line gets further to the left.
The first pictures I took this month were during an evening visit.
I planted a whole bag of nasturtium
seeds last spring, but this little bunch in the corner of the lot
seems to be the only ones left. Several of them were doing well
until the aphid farming ants moved in. Then the black dots on the
bottoms of the leaves got so gross seeming to me that I pulled
them out. Later Marci said that was a mistake. She thinks there
are enough ladybugs in the garden that leaving the aphid farming
ants will only give them plenty to eat. I try to listen to that,
but sometimes my esthetic sense over rules the advice.
On the other hand, the bag of beet
seeds I planted most of a month ago seem to be doing well. Shown
above are ones I've transplanted when I was thinning them out in
the main bed of the things. Young beets are no trouble at all to
transplant, and they appreciate the space. I expect to be eating a
lot of homegrown beets next spring!
Of all the tomato plants I still
have, this one looks the healthiest. It still fruits occasionally,
but nowhere near as often as it did during the summer. I've given
up on most of the rest of them. I've pulled half, and the rest are
waiting for me to get around to it.
I've just planted a dozen
cauliflower seedlings. On the other hand, the onions and carrots I
planted early in the summer are starting to get near ready to
harvest. Actually, those onions are ready. I harvested one and it
was delicious. The problem is that I keep forgetting to take
another one home with me. That's okay because the continued growth
seems to be doing them good.
This was the last picture of the
horseradish jungle that I took before attacking it.
That night I took home one of the
carrots. It was delicious, peel and all!
By the next day I had a hole a foot
or more deep I'd excavated a lot of horseradish root from. I could
tell that there was still a long way to go before I was done with
the project. The next day I was there for hours working on it.
Before I got down to that I took a few more pictures of my
Just to see what happens, I took an
arm off the kale bush and stuck it in the ground. It's looking a
little dry, but hasn't given up yet. I'm hoping for it, and
watering the thing every day with the beets around it.
I know the picture
on the right looks like bare dirt, but it's freshly planted onions
That red kale bush is getting to be
a friend. The leaves go great in soups. I don't get enough to have
more than a couple of bowls of yummy soup a month, so I haven't
tried anything else with them yet.
Those are broccoli seedlings I'm
growing from seed. I've already transplanted a lot of them, so if
even most of them do well I'll have lots of broccoli in a few
months. Looking forward to that!
It doesn't show yet, but I planted a
sprouted potato wedge in that pit.
I'm thinking the chard on the left
is doing a lot better than the rest because it gets more sun. I'm
going to move another one or two of them into sunnier places soon.
First I have to get the horseradish out of the corner!
About this time I talked to Karen,
and she said that the wet digging method would work better. That
consists of adding a bucket of water to the soil at the bottom of
the hole. It helps because wet dirt is softer, so I can chisel it
free easier. Not only that, but wet dirt clumps better. This means
it's easier to lift out of the hole.
By this time it's getting difficult
to reach the bottom of the hole. I'm crouched over and my arm is
fully extended into the bottom of its range. To get an idea of how
deep the hole is notice that the bar or pipe in this row of
pictures wasn't even exposed at all until I'd pulled out much more
than a foot of horseradish root above it.
By the end of this day I had a
deeper hole than any other I've dug this millennium. When Marci
looked at it she made some comment about how I'd dug down to the
depths of hell.
Unfortunately the other end of the
trowel had also dug a hole in my hand.
Saturday I just got the front roots
out. I dug it down as far as I could reach first. Probably if I'd
cut the bottom instead of breaking it off as far down as I could
I'd have gotten another inch or two of root. I was getting tired
of working on it at this point. So many other things I wanted to
do with my time!
I gave that last piece of
horseradish root to this Russian sounding guy whose plot was a few
rows over from mine.
My foot got lower in the hole before I started backfilling the
front pit to get lower on that root, but it was only a few inches
lower than it was when this picture was taken. Probably it was two
feet below ground level, much deeper than I usually get.
How about my rose bush imitation? I
took that picture while I was backfilling the hole. Still deciding
what to do with the space, now that it's not horseradish.
I got some greens for my next bowl
of soup before heading home. It was a delicious way to end the