Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Busy in the Garden

There was lots to do in the garden today. I ripped out my eggplant. Since all of the little eggplants were picked and the weather is cold, I'm sure no more will set. So they went into the compost pile. I thought about putting in a cover crop, but it is probably too late for that.

While I was at the compost pile I noticed that I got another load of grass and leaves to add. When they mow the yard usually it is just grass, but one of the joys of autumn is that some of the leaves start to drop early. So there is just enough leaf in with the grass to make a good composting mixture. Grass by itself has just about the perfect amount of nitrogen to compost, but its flaw is that it compacts to easily. If no air can get in then it can't compost and it just rots. So I add leaves when I compost it, but now I don't even have that chore. I just fork it all right into the compost. I did notice the pile was too dry. We haven't had real rain in a long time, so when I get a chance I'll take the hose to it.

Then the bean tepee needed to come down. It was creating too much shade for my greens and it is greens season, not bean season anymore. So I ripped out most of the beans. I left one plant chopped off to about a foot tall. I want to leave it there since it makes a good slug hunting place. The slugs love the bean plant more than the lettuce. I'll hunt a few more nights until the population is under control again.

You can see the left over bean plant in the upper right hand corner of the photo. The ruby chard looks very sad, but in reality it is thriving. Well the bottom most one is sad. The one before never thrived, so I pulled it out. Then planted another and it is still small. But the top two plants were picked yesterday and the next one down about a week ago. That one has really almost filled in again. I think in another week I can pick again. And they are getting tastier. The ones from yesterday were so much sweeter than the leaves from the week before. It must be the cooler weather. The rest of the greens are all lettuce. The onions in the middle are the green onions I planted early in the spring. I've been eating and thinning them ever since. I don't use them a lot, but when I need them, they are always there.

The best part of the day was picking the first carrots. I didn't pick them all. I picked the ones that filled out widthwise. The short ones are Danvers and the long one is Big Top. Big Top is supposed to get upto 8" long, but mine is only 5 1/2". It sure looks pretty though. One of the Danvers forked terribly. I thought I had most of the rocks out of this bed. It was prepared pretty well for carrots, but maybe not. It could be rocks or could be nementodes. I'm not sure how to tell the difference. I know they both cause forking. But whatever caused it, they are still quite tasty. My carrot envy has been appeased.


  1. Your carrot still looks way better than all mine did. I didn't think ahead and started carrots inside, which required replanting them. If the roots get a little bent/twisted in this process you end up with some very strange looking vegetables!

  2. Our carrots are just about to go under their winter cloche. We'll see how that comes out. Maybe we'll have a creative carrot to show you in a couple of months. LOL

  3. Sounds like you have been busy working in your garden.

    Thank you for the tips about compost, I'll have to keep that in mind for when I eventually have my own home.

    Those carrots! Wahoo! They are beautiful, I hope there are more where those came from.

  4. You have been busy in the garden. I am sorry to hear about the eggplant, but you had a great season with them. The carrots look very healthy, even though they do look rather short.

  5. Tina: I could just imagine what transplanted carrots would look like. But they would probably make for some interesting photos.

    shibaguys: Oh yes definitely show us how they come out. I'm actually doing better on the normal looking carrots this year. I really prepared the bed well. I used to just throw the seed on top and hope for the best, which never works.

    Jennifer: Oh yes lots more. I have three five foot rows. I don't know if the littlest ones will be ready before the ground freezes but most of them will.

    dp: yes the eggplant has had its day. I've had so much from them. They are on the list of plants to keep for next year.

    outer banks mom: Ohhhh an award. I'll have to hop on over and see which one :>