Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Last(?) Garden Update for the season

 Hi friends.  It's time for the monthly-ish garden update.

The other day, I cleared out both the pea bed and the melon bed.  When I harvested melons, I left one watermelon hanging on the fence to see what would happen.  See, the thing is, when you're relying on the ground spot to help you decide when your watermelons are ripe, and the watermelons are not actually on the ground, there is no ground spot.  So it's not possible to judge whether the ground spot is creamy yellow.

So I left the biggest one hanging, and it had a hammock to support it, but I guess the hammock was not supportive enough, because a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the final watermelon had disconnected from the vine.

With the final melon harvested, I was able to remove the vines from the garden bed, and while I was at it, I cleaned out the weeds that had grown in the pea bed after the peas capitulated to the weather.

I harvested some compost, which, frankly, surprised me--that there was enough finished compost to harvest--and added it to the top of the empty beds.  I covered one of the beds with cardboard to keep the weeds down while the bed isn't being used.  I neglected to cover the other bed because I didn't have enough cardboard, but I suspect that, given enough time, I will accumulate enough cardboard to cover that one, too.

That leaves the flower/tomato jungle bed, and it is still full and alive and blooming.  It is such a joy to look out at that colorful bounty.

The sunflowers are about 10 feet tall, with multiple heads.  I am hoping to be able to harvest these as a treat for the chickens, but I've seen both squirrels and birds snacking on these, so I'm not sure there will be anything left for the girls.

Oh, these marigolds are glorious.  The plants are just full of blooms, which I continue to deadhead to encourage more blooms.

The zinnias are also glorious.  I've been cutting them throughout the summer, so that I've had a bouquet on the table for the last three months or so.  I marked this particular bloom to save its seeds.  I am so glad that I made the decision to grow flowers, rather than food, in 1/3 of my garden space this season.

And the tomato jungle, aka the one cherry tomato plant, continues to produce.  The harvest has slowed from its peak, but there are still plenty of ripening fruits as well as new blooms.  I would top this plant (cut off the growing top to encourage the plant to put its energy into ripening the fruits it already has, versus putting its energy into setting new fruit), if I could figure out where the top is.  When I say it's a jungle, I'm not kidding.

As usual at this time of year, I'm already dreaming of next year's garden.  This garden thing--it's a joy.

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