What’s Been Going On
November 14, 2008
I’ve been slowly emerging from my gardening depression this year. It started with striped cucumber beetles at the beginning of June:
Continued with some black spot on my apple tree at the beginning of July:
And capped off with devastating early blight on my tomatoes (it was so bad I couldn’t bring myself to take photographic evidence).
On a semi-happier note, I managed to harvest one overflowing bowl of tomatoes (though it was all at once instead of my envisioned continuous seasonal harvest):
Not that I know which tomato is which in this photo, or even my garden. The Sharpie marker had worn off the plastic label and I didn’t care enough to dig out my vegetable garden grid:
Here’s what it looked like back on July 2nd when I was still trying and before it all went to hell:
There’s my bean pole trellis, my soaker hose that’s since busted and my handy twine grids that I think I’ll do next year. Next year I’ll grow tomato plants in my satellite garden or in large pots on the deck – no more in this garden above as the soil is now diseased. I’ll also be taking down the concrete reinforcement grids next spring to set up a twine trellis for beans and peas. Yum, yum, 8′ of beans and 8′ of peas.
So, what have I been up to lately? Well, there was Halloween, a day that I’m crazy about:
Where we carved up these great little pumpkins that I grew called “Jack O’Lantern”:
I loaned a herb book to my favorite local restaurant that I’ve offered to start herbs for. I prepared their herb garden out back for next spring by topping it up with a blend of organic sheep manure and garden soil.
I brought in some herbs and plants from the chilly outdoors to overwinter inside. Left to right is Vick’s Plant, a white datura, lemon oregano, rosemary, and a poinsettia from last Christmas.
I bought a couple of books, one called Four Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman (who coincidentally is married to Barbara Damrosch, who’s book, The Garden Primer, was one of the first few gardening books I bought) and The Heirloom Tomato by Amy Goldman that made me salivate and wish it was spring so I could start a new batch of tomatoes. Truly, that book is gorgeous!
I’m getting interested in extending my growing season, the reason why I bought Four Season Harvest, so that I could learn more about building a cold frame and the types of vegetables I could grow in it. I’m now being exposed to new and exciting vegetables I’ve never heard before or know little about: chicory, endive, mizuna, salsify, mâche, and claytonia.
I’ve also purchased another 4′ wide chrome shelf for my gardening activities as my previous one was re-assigned as storage in the kitchen. I want to start growing some lettuce and mustard greens in my basement for the coming winter months and still need to find the chains for my fluorescent lights.
I saved a lot of seeds this year: cucumber, pumpkin, tomato (not from my diseased crop), coneflower, dill, garlic chives, and butternut squash. Somehow, my pole beans were crossed and 95% of the seeds I saved were white instead of the Cherokee Trail of Tears true-to-type black.
And my worms have been indoors in the basement for the last two months and they are happily munching along.
Looking forward to winter sowing and 2009 catalogues!