Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fall Cleanup Starts

Yesterday I was very busy in the garden. I decided it was clean up day. I was going to do this over the holiday, but I kept going for hikes and came back too tired to even think about cleaning up the garden.

The first chore was to weed the fruit garden. The weeds were starting to take over and the crab grass was going to seed. Whoops! I saw a very bad weed that made me bring out the gloves to dispose of it - poison ivy. I had a little seedling pop up in the middle of the Dutch clover. The clover is also a weed, but I let it grow. I wish it would shade out the all the other weeds, but it doesn't seem up to the task.

The next chore was the patio. It was covered in debris from my trees. I'd been putting this off for months. I get annoyed with it all every time it rains because it turns to mush. The Autumn rains look they might start soon so I swept it all up.

Then it was off to the vegetable garden. I picked off all the dried beans; got some more dill seed; and did a good search on the lettuce plants for little seed puffs. I wanted all of the dried things off before any rain started. The forecast is for very cloudy weather for the next four days. We may or may not get rain, but if we do everything will stay wet because of the lack of sun. This is bad for things that need to be dried.

Katydid that jumped into my harvest bowl

I noticed that three of the bean poles had all the bean picked off so I removed the plants and poles from the garden.

The next chore was to take down my dying tomato plants. I swear the Sungolds and the two black cherry varieties will just keep out growing the late blight on their leaves, but their stems were starting to get infected. The only way to keep the spores out of the air is to get rid of them. So that is what I did. I cut their stems up into little tiny bits and buried them under the tomato patch. I do this with my tomatoes every year. I never compost tomatoes, but I bury the waste in the garden where they grew that year.

Before the tomatoes were removed.

After. A garden without tomatoes. How sad.

I wanted to empty the potato bin out too. The plants were cut down two weeks ago. We have had mostly dry weather. Nice potato curing weather. Notice how I'm being optimistic about having potatoes under the bin? Yup I'm still holding out hope. I hope that Kennebecs don't like bins and only set the potatoes in the level that they are planted. Sadly it was time to go in to make dinner. Actually it was past time to go in to make dinner. So the potatoes will have to wait. I'm hoping for mostly dry weather for a while yet to keep those potatoes dry, but probalby not. I'm busy today, but maybe on Thursday I'll have some time to dig them out.


  1. Gack! Now I feel guilty, Daphne! I need to do all this garden cleanup, too, and I've been looking guiltily at my potato bin for two weeks now thinking "I must dump this out and see what the harvest is, but I'm on deadline..." Maybe this weekend!

  2. Now that I've accepted summer is heading out (yes, I finally have !) I'm just itching to do some Fall clean up. I LOVE it ! I feel like pulling everything out ! Somebody stop me.
    Btw, I love your patio stonework. Did you have that done or was it there when you bought the place ? I'm planning for something similar and I'm just wondering about cost, if you don't mind sharing figures.

  3. My tomatoes are mostly dead, along with the rest of the garden, save those pepper plants! I think it's natural for the tomatoes to die a horrible death. Your patio is gorgeous!

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  5. Sorry you had to put your remaining tomatoes out of their misery. A garden without tomatoes does seem sad. But at least you won't have to inspect and worry about them anymore.

    I am eager to see how your potato harvest is. I've never grown potatoes, but want to next year. Kennebec is supposed to be late blight resistant (along with Sebago, Allegany, and Rosa according to:

  6. our friend Ben, I'd stick with the deadline first. Luckily for me I have few deadlines.

    Miss M, I sometimes feel like that too. The patio was here when we bought the place, so I have no idea how much it would cost to do it now. Sadly it is starting to fall apart too as it is about 50 years old.

    Lzyjo, it is quite natural for the tomatoes to die horribly at the end of summer. Usually I don't have to pull them up until the end of September though. I'm a bit early this year.

    GrafixMuse, true. The tomatoes were a huge time sink. They were also such great producers of poundage for my harvest posts. I wonder how low the weight will sink next Monday. I've heard that Kennebecs are resistant too. I hope that means if there are any potatoes down there that they will all be edible. The leaves had quite a bit of late blight on them at the end, but they seemed much less prone to them than my tomato plants.

  7. Hi Daphne, isn't it a great feeling when you do a clean up ?? I started mine a week or so ago and it's great to get rid of plants that have really finished fruiting and are just looking scruffy. I feel that my plot is starting to look tidy again now some of the weeds are gone. I hope you find some spuds when you get to empty the potato bin.

  8. Wishing you success in the potato treasure hunt! I am down to three Legend tomato plants (the only ones that resisted the blight this year) but they are languishing and not producing much anyways. I will leave them in place until they absolutely must go. In the meantime, I am eating tomatoes that we are ripening off the vine from all the plants we had to remove. We are actually getting quite a lot of them this way and they are good tasting too.

  9. Maureen, I have mixed feelings about it all. I love to see it neat and tidy, but it is so empty. I kind of miss the jungle that was.

    kitsapFG, I still have one Market Miracle that was taken down weeks ago. It was picked green. All the other ripened before it. I can't think of what to do with the last one. I want to see it on my counter for a while, but I know if I don't eat it soon it will rot.

  10. I finished harvesting my bin today and lets just say I hope yours does much better then mine....

  11. It's all I can do not to declare a wholesale rip-out week and denude the garden. The tomatoes and peppers and zucchini, though, are still coming along nicely. Hard to kill what's still going in the interest of neatness and fresh starts.

    I'm afraid I'd be indulging myself only.

  12. Daphne, I'm tardy getting fully back from the long weekend, and I was so happy to be included in your Me meme. Now I must get to work on thinking about what will be interesting to our blog readers. I loved reading your answers as I'm always curious about my blog buddies and their "real" lives. Your real life on the river just astounds me. I love water, but slow water works best for slow me.

    I can't believe how tidy you have everything already! I'm not going to let Birch near this post or he'll be after me to get started.

  13. Hmm, is that what your supposed to do with tomatoes that get blight? I never knew!

  14. It's good for me to visit your blog and see what I SHOULD be doing here in my own garden, Daphne. I get lots of guidance from you!

    I just took out some tomatoes and beans this week, too, but have lots of cherries still to ripen. I don't know if I'll get any fall veggies in this year, though.

    Your harvests totals are anmazing!

  15. I love the photo's of your garden. Thanks for sharing. :)