Friday, September 16, 2011

A Good Day for Gardening

 Things are winding down in the garden.  Or maybe that's falling down!  With all the winds and rains we've had lately, the 12' tall sunflowers have about had it, taking out the remaining pole beans in their descent.

 Frost was in the forecast for last night (already!!!), so I took the afternoon off and spent it at home putting row covers over the tomatoes and sweet potatoes.

 While I was out there, I tackled the weeds in one of the unused plots (that I just didn't get around to preparing last spring).  Once it was weeded, I figured I might as well move the soil over - better now than wait until next spring.

Doesn't it look lovely?  Now that I have a load of compost (leaves from the streets of Jackson) to add to the horrid "topsoil" I got this spring, I'm hoping I will have better growth next year.  It certainly seems to be nutritious compost, for the weeds are phenomenal on the pile!  I weeded a section before mixing it with the "topsoil" (the pale pile on the right), but both are so full of roots that I suspect this isn't the last I'll see of the weeds.  One bed done, four to go...and then I can work on fixing the beds I did this year.

 While working in the garden, I saw this fellow snoozing in the corn:

...and another in the sweet potatoes:

I just love these little frogs.  They are grey tree frogs.  I know what you are thinking:  grey?  They're green!  But, grey tree frogs have the wonderful ability to change their color.  Gotta love 'em. 

Meanwhile, as I was yanking out weeds, I disturbed not only this worm, but the mother spider who's also in this photo.  See the white thing?  That's her egg sac, which apparently VERY recently hatched since she was still attached to it.  And on her back are all her little ones (except for the few that were scuttling around on the soil).  

And here's a sweet potato flower...just in case you ever wondered what one looked like.

The sunflowers are about exhausted.  Bees still visit, but most of the blooming is done and now the seeds need to ripen.

Watching someone weed and haul soil is not very exciting.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September Goodness

Monday was labor day, and for many folks that's just a day off from work.  For me, well, it was a regular day off, by I put myself to work, laboring in the garden.  It was time to dig the spuds.

It's not been often this year that I have been impressed with the results of the garden, but the potatoes made me a believer.  Only two of the three varieties made it - the Adirondack Blues were mostly rotted before they went into the ground, but the German butterballs and purple vikings did great.

A whole bushel of spuds!!!

Just look at the size of this baby! 
I've never had German butterballs this big.

Some grew in some pretty interesting shapes.

  And just look at these purple vikings!

These have got to be the biggest potatoes I've ever seen!

Here we are, finally, all sorted by size or variety.

All spuds are now on the back porch curing.  This should toughen up their skins so they store better.  And now that I have an actual root cellar, I'm looking forward to seeing how the do beyond a regular basement.
I also dug up one of the sweet potatoes, but although the roots were awfully colorful, there was not a sweet potato to be seen.  Some of the roots had swellings that might've eventually become "potatoes," but they were too small to bother with now.  Bummer.  So, that vine is going to be composted and I will leave the rest in the ground for a few more weeks in hopes that they will mature.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Here's Why I Want Chickens and Pigs

(Thanks to Jenna at Cold Antler Farm for posting this - I, too, love this ad.)