Sunday, September 7, 2014

Cooler Weather

Last night the heat and humidity broke with an intense storm. Since most of the tall things were out of the garden there wasn't a lot of damage. This sunflower bit the dust. It isn't just tipped over. The two inch thick stem is broken off.

The broccoli above and the kale are a bit tipped. I fixed the broccoli this morning. I saw one head forming down in the tip. I really hope we get a good broccoli harvest this fall.

While I was under I decided the other side needed cleaning out too. I cut out a lot of side shoots to eat and left only a few to keep going. The aphids have started to invade and I wanted to get the worst of them out. One broccoli plant was removed a while ago and I removed another one today. So now I just have the three old broccoli that have been giving me food all summer long. And of course the five new ones that I hope give big heads in a month. I think I left it clean of aphids, but I'll have to spray with soap (along with the kale) sometime soon or I'll lose the forming broccoli heads. This is a big problem here with broccoli in the fall. The kale is almost as bad. Last fall I quit eating it because it was just too hard to get the mass of aphids off. Blech!

Next up was my melon patch. I picked the last two melons yesterday before the rain hit as I didn't want them to split. There were actually two little melons that would take a couple of weeks to ripen, but I wasn't sure it was worth it to leave them there. Fall ripened melons just aren't the same as summer ripened melons. I tried to untangle the mass enough to save at least one while still cleaning up the rest of the bed. I had succeeded and had just the one line of vine left. Then as I moved it back I put too much pressure on the branch and it broke off. Oh well. I did try.

But I needed the space to get my spinach in finally. I hope to get some harvest this year, but the odds are slim as the sun gets lower in the sky. I sow spinach seeds in rows 6" apart and put the seeds about 2" apart. Last year I put in Winter Giant, but it didn't perform well. So instead I sowed my trusty Space spinach until I ran out of seed. Then I filled the last spot with Winter Giant in the northern corner. If it doesn't do well this winter, I won't grow it again. Space is such a nice spinach for me that I don't mind just the one variety.

I had a bit of a problem with the row cover. The leaf miners will still be active for at least a month or a month and a half. But I couldn't find a used row cover that was large enough to cover the whole thing. So I cobbled two of them together. I hope it will hold for a while. The white one really needs some patching as it was from last year. The netting is so nice as it lets in the rain, but it is fragile. It isn't quite as bad as the really thin agribon, but still it gets holes fairly easily.

And this is my compost before all the additions. You can barely tell it is a compost pile at this point with all the morning glories climbing all over it. But they will have to be pulled soon so I can get to the compost to put on the soil for next year. I probably should have put some on the spinach bed before sowing, but didn't even think about it. I guess it will get its layer next spring when the spinach is pulled.


  1. That's too bad that you lost that melon vine. I have to say, however, that I love the look of a beautifully cleaned bed, all ready to go for the next round. And I've never seen a more beautiful compost pile.

  2. If only all the garden pests would stay away life would be so much easier garden-wise.