Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Garden Stuff.......

With Fall here now and all the leaves on the ground you should be looking at those leaves as a good, free resource for next years garden.

Leaves are a great mulch for the garden. They keep the weeds down, hold moisture in (Not a problem this year!) and as they break down they improve the soil.
All around a serious winner for helping the garden.

You should consider gathering a few big piles around the garden somewhere and saving them for next year.

My Mom gave me a leaf blower thingie a few years back and for a couple of days a year it comes down off the hook it hangs on and gets a workout.

I've got 40+ trees in a stretch maybe 200 feet long in back of the house that dump 6-8 inches of leaves all over the back yard. It's a hell of a mess, but also a hell of a resource.

I use the blower to make rows and then blow them on a tarp tied to the back of the lawn mower and drag them over to the garden area.
I just dump 'em in big piles around the garden where they'll be handy next year. The wind does scatter some of 'em back out and about, but that's no big deal.

Like this one behind the compost heap.

I've got a lot of room so it's not a problem, but I suppose you could buy a cheap tarp to cover them with or some other method of keeping things tidy if that's a concern.
I've got piles all around the place so they're convenient.

Don't have to be toting them all over that way.

I've been cleaning things up around the garden and tidying things up the last few days.

All in all it was an ok year considering it's basically a new garden. The cold, rainy weather didn't do much for some things, melons, peppers and all the tomatoes except the Roma paste tomatoes we're mostly a bust.
But you'll have that.
While the cold kept the beans down to a single crop (I can usually get 2 plantings in) they produced out the wahzoo. We canned 70+ quarts of green beans and dried several pounds of both black beans and, what I call, cranberry beans.

My Tater plan didn't work out as well as planned, but I can't blame the taters. I didn't really add enough dirt around them as they were growing to get them to send out shoots and set more taters as the vines grew up. This was the first time I'd tried doing that in a long time and I just forgot that it takes a lot more soil and less straw. I'll try it again next year and see if I can't get a better crop.

We DID get taters. Just not as many as I'd planned on.
These are Yukon Gold from one bed I finally dug out today. We had comparable yields of Pontiac Red and Kennebeck from the other 2 beds.

Not a total bust, but something to work on for next year.

The HoopHouse was sort of a disappointment.

Having not had one before I didn't know what to expect or how to use one properly so this was a learning year.

Lots to learn. I'm a Cubs fan so I've got that whole, "Maybe next year" thing down pat. We'll see.

I have exactly zero Fall garden in. Just didn't have room, time or energy for it. This is an area where the HoopHouse could come in handy, but I'm a lazy little shit and missed my window of opportunity.

If I got some seeds of lettuce and spinach going now I could still probably utilize the HoopHouse, but that's probably not going to happen this year.
Another thing to work on. Organization.

I am gonna be making a plot layout and keep it up to date next year. What & when things go in and where exactly.
Rotating the crops around is very important. I try not to use any pesticides and crop rotation helps keep the critters down.

OK Kids. Go gather up those leaves and get started on next years garden now.

Gratuitous Picture for a Wednesday-


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