Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Garden Blogger's Death Day September 2009

This is the time of the year that it is so easy to celebrate Death Day. Death is natural in autumn. The trees even celebrate it by putting on a beautiful show of their dying leaves. In Massachusetts, most of the trees haven't turned, but the hint of color is there. There is one tree however that always turns early. It is a glorious tree that I photographed while standing in my garden. I love seeing it as I rip out my plants. It reminds me that it is time for such things and not to be too sad about all the death surrounding me.

So I have all the expected death this time of year. I have dead squash plants. Most of the pods of dried beans have been picked and the plants have been removed. A few pods remain. Those plants slowly turn yellow. Their leaves fall to the ground.

The death that makes me sad is the death of my little seedlings. I sow very little this time of year. The slugs and other pests are voracious. A newly germinated seed doesn't have much of a chance. However I wanted some spinach and mache for the colder times of the year and in early spring.

The spinach I chitted in the house for two days and then planted out in the bed. I spaced them just like I did in the spring. I had rows 6" apart and seed in the row 3" apart. As you can see a lot of it didn't make it. What did is getting munched on by something. I have a row cover over it which helps, but many things are already in the soil and slugs laugh at row covers. So I have a sparse spinach bed. A little bit of death but not total destruction.

The Golden Corn Salad that I got from Michelle is another matter. I broadcast it in a small spot. I watered every day to keep the soil moist. As you can see I have a lot of seedlings, but these are dill seedlings. I have dill plants above this bed that are dropping tons of seed. They love the newly prepared bed and the daily watering. I don't know what a mache seedling looks like, but I don't have any mass of seed leaves except dill. Sigh. I think it will have to wait until spring for germination. If I treat it like I treat my dill, I'm sure I'll get it to self sow all over the place and next year I'll have fall seedlings. I just have to be patient.

If you wish to join GBDD head over and visit Kate at Gardening Without Skills who hosts this macabre celebration.


  1. Don't give up on the mache just yet, it is always a slow starter for me and pehaps you will be rewarded with some late emergence.

  2. You're right, death is so natural in autumn, it feels good to rip out the dead vines and clean up the space for the end of the season. Bittersweet. My spinach hasn't done well either. The first planting was totally eaten, although fenced in. There's hardly anything left from the second planting, but for some reason who ever the culprit is left the fenugreek untouched.

  3. great post. I have dill spreading around in my veggie garden, too. It is not as much of a problem as the cosmos and sunflowers, though.

  4. Congratulations on winning "Best Organic Blog" on Blotanical!

  5. I'm planning on sowing Mache successively starting sometime this week as well. I'm using Granny's seed mat technique and am curious to see how it will work. I have no I idea what a mache seedling looks like either. Hopefully, you will find out soon!

  6. Good death is nice, but the babies! It is hard. I use iron pellets for my slugs because I figure it's as close to natural as possible. Slow seeds can make you nibble your nails! Will the dill die out in the cold?

  7. kitsapFG, today when I was out I found two seedlings that I didn't recognize. I may not know what my weeds are all called, but I know what the seedlings look like. It isn't one I've seen before so maybe I have two up now? I hope so.

    Lzyjo, I did a lot more ripping out today. I pulled the first of the pepper plants - four of them that don't have little peppers on them. The others are still getting larger and will get harvested before the first frost.

    Muum, I think dill is my biggest weed in the garden. I don't mind though since I will eat them when they are pulled. I did get a few volunteer cosmos even though I tried really hard to keep it deadheaded. I didn't mind though. My sunflowers mostly died this spring so I filled in with cosmos seedlings.

    Jackie, I won? Whoohoo. I'll have to look. I thought they were coming out tomorrow not today so didn't even check them. Thanks for letting me know. When I get a chance I'll have to see who all won the different awards.

    Thomas, I think I may put some more seed in too, but not a lot. I'm going to do it in rows this time so I can check on it more easily. I still want to save enough seed for the spring, but I should be fine since Michelle gave me a lot.

    Stefaneener. I keep thinking about them. I haven't broken down and bought them yet. After harvesting my chinese cabbage I think I ought to. Maybe some year :>

  8. Congratulations on Best Organic Blog, Daphne!!! You sure got my vote.

  9. Your first shot is such a nice Suburbia shot, at least I am guessing it's suburbia? Your mache seedlings will look like small round leaves and develop it elongated leaves with round ends. I'll see if I have any extra seed to share encase yours don't sprout.

  10. Yay Daphne, congrats on Best Organic Blog!

    In case I don't say it enough, I love your blog and I learn a ton from it.


  11. Congratulations on Best Organic Blog!

    Dan of Henbogle...

  12. congrats on your win!

    funny about the dill instead of mache! I've got some mache starting - unfortunately I always sow the seeds then forget them. I've got enough germinated for a little dollhouse sized salad plate - like I usually do, but not much more than that.

  13. To everyone that sent their congratulations, thanks you so much.

    Dan, yup it is suburbia, though we have a lot of space for suburbia. We all own about half an acre. A lot of the lots have a natural woods as their back yard like mine does. I should have plenty of seed. I wish I could chit the seed to give it a better chance like I do my spinach, but the seeds are way too tiny for that. Fall is a tough time for seed sowing here.

    Wendy, that is why I'm hoping to get it started in self sowing. If it is like dill it will take over and sow it self everywhere to a point where it is a weed. Then I ought to have enough :> Of course I've never tasted it before so I hope I'm going to like it.

  14. Wow Daphne! Congrat's on best organic blog! That's awesome!!!!

    I love how pretty death looks up north. The different colored leaves on the trees and the changing seasons are so nice.

    Sorry about your seedlings though. That is a bummer. I hope some of them come back like other posters have suggested! I'm just planting seedling here because it's finally cooled down to the point it won't cook them in the summer sun.

    Thanks for participating in GBDD!