I began in the east garden. I pulled all the weeds. There weren't very many, mostly some small crabgrass and some type of invasive flowers creeping over from the neighbor's side of the fence. Three small beds were prepped, which will probably be where the Walla Walla onions will be planted next year. After the peppers (along the fence on the left) are all harvested, and those plants removed, the beds in this section of the garden will all be extended over to the fence line on the left. I'll keep the path on the right, so I can hopefully control the weeds that come over from the neighbor's.
The cucumbers I planted in the middle of the new beds all germinated, so I thinned them out to four seedlings. I'll probably pull out one more when they get a bit larger.
The garden twine on the pepper fence was sagging, so that was tightened. I took the loppers and cut off the corn stalks that had already had their ears harvested. The stalks were all cut in half and bundled for garbage pickup. I do wish I had a small chipper-shredder, I'd love to be able to turn those stalks back into the soil.
I had to stop to admire this (I think) Lavender Pepper. It's loaded with 10 medium sized peppers, and they are turning from lavender to dark purple. If they are indeed Lavender Pepper, they are supposed to eventually turn red.
The paths around the carrot patch were weeded and raked. The cage with the bird netting was moved to this area of the garden, amended with compost, and planted with Anuenue lettuce seedlings. Two short rows of bunching onions were also planted, as well as a very small cabbage seedling. The entire bed was watered, then mulched with chopped, partially decomposed leaves. Cleanup around the cage was done....weeding and raking.
The path to the compost area was weeded and raked clean. Several volunteer nasturtiums were removed to open up the pathway. There is a tomato plant on the left that was overgrown and blocking both entrances to the kennel garden, so some selective pruning was done on it, as well as clearing out excess foliage at the bottom of the plant. Notice how empty my leaf bin is becoming! The leaf mulch used to be to the top of the brown board fence, and it's now only halfway up the lattice side. I'm finding some lovely finished compost in the center!
The next job was weeding, mulching and adding a good layer of compost to the fall corn bed. There are still a few immature carrots there, so they were left to continue growing.
The fall bed of Fortex pole beans was weeded and mulched. The path was weeded and raked. These beans are really growing nicely. I know you can't really see it in the photo, but many of the vines have grown a foot above the 6' chain link! They have also begun to blossom, so I can be pretty certain of getting a nice fall crop.
Then I went to work inside the kennel garden. I removed the netting from the bed, added manure and leaf mulch around the cabbages and beets, then dug some of that good compost I'd found in the leaf bin into three of the empty squares and planted fall spinach. There was room for 24 seeds in each of the three squares. I pulled maybe two small clumps of crabgrass from the carrot squares, then covered the raised bed back up and began working on the area around outside. I pulled out and composted two tiny cabbages that had been completely chewed by slugs, trimmed a few bottom leaves from the two broccoli plants (one has been harvested and is beginning to put out side shoots, the other is forming a really nice main head). The older planting of Fortex beans, on the right side of the kennel, had sent some vines into the pathway and over the raised bed, so they were given a bit of trimming. Then the path in front of them was weeded, raked clean, and it's now much easier to access the beans for picking. The entire perimeter was then weeded and raked clean.
Outside of the kennel garden, the parsnip bed was weeded.
The small pepper bed was weeded, manured and mulched. Then the paths were weeded and raked clean.
I rounded up some flower pots to support them, and lifted the canteloup up off the ground.
The leek bed was then weeded. I notice a few of them are going to seed, so I guess I'll just let it happen. *Note to self: butternut vine encroaching on the leeks. Must be stopped.
Oh, I should have got a "before" picture of this section of the garden, the hardest job of the day! The squash vines had grown completely across the path, making it extremely difficult to get from one side of the garden to the other. Although I know it will make some of you, who have problems growing squash, weep....I pulled out two of the three yellow crookneck squash plants, cut back a few more butternut squash vines, and removed a few more large leaves from the zucchini. Then I weeded and raked the newly cleared path (that little pile of weeds in the foreground were all I could find....I'm pretty good at staying ahead of the weeds in the garden).
Looking back the other direction, you can see the nice wide path. It's so nice to be able to walk through the garden now, without getting my legs chewed up with squash vine stickers!
My single row of bush beans, planted for fall harvest, might be a bit early. They are already blooming. I might just have to plant another row for eating in October!
The fall sugar snap peas have germinated, and are growing thickly and vigorously. Carrots in the same bed are also peeking out of the soil. The bunching onions have not yet made an appearance.
Most of my tomatoes are coming from the four plants in this jungle. It's really hard to find the ripe ones, I have to literally get on my hands and knees and stick my head right into those vines! Next year they go behind the shed, where I can get on two sides of them to harvest.
This tomato, next to the back fence, is not looking very healthy. It has, however, been producing quite a few nice fruits. I think it is due for some selective pruning to rid it of the dying foliage.
Anothe tomato, same variety, same fence, is looking great....but hasn't given me a single ripe tomato.
Same fence, same variety, looking terrible. I pulled the one on the right, after picking off all the tomatoes, and discarded it in the garbage. The top of the one on the left is looking pretty good, so this one is also going to get some hard pruning.
Same fence, same variety (by the way....these were all nursery purchased plants, all VFNT resistant!). Again, this one has enough healthy foliage to make it worth my time to try to save it. I hope it's cool again tomorrow, I have a lot of work ahead of me!
My final garden chore of the day was to trim some mildewed leaves from the cucumbers, and tie them up where they were nearly on the ground. Then I gave them 2" of composted manure, a big drink of fish fertilizer, and a thick layer of leaf mulch. I'd like to keep them healthy and producing until the fall planted hill begins to produce. I hope those leaves look better by morning, after they get used to their new upright positions!
I love the sound and the sight of so many bees in the garden! I've not seen very many for several years, but they've been quite active this year.
Today I was as busy as those bees. Tonight it's nice and cool, 71 degrees, and beginning to rain lightly. I'm exhausted, but I think the garden is happy.