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 favorite plants.


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 and garlic.


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 day.