My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Harvest Report

2006-09-22

Im feeling a bit melancholy today. I guess its because fall is finally here and its time to dismantle the garden. Usually, I like this pulling up the dead plants, cleaning and tidying the garden plots and pathways, readying a ground cover for over-wintering. But usually I look forward to this because the summer had been nothing but worrying over plants that were producing far more than I could possible eat.

This years garden has been a partial success: lots of peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, zucchinis and yellow squash, basil. What I got none of, due to a very voracious ground hog (and bugs, bugs, bugs!), were actual tomatoes, green beans, nasturtiums, zinnias, and butternut squash. Oh, and every single sunflower except one. While Dusty and I were very diligent about killing squash bug eggs, we dropped the ball at some point, got busy with other things, and the squash bugs took over with a vengeance.

Next year will be different. I am going to complete the secondary chicken wire fence against the original netting. I have bought lots of organic bug killers. And will create fences within fences if need be. What did work, to some degree, was my own homemade bug and critter repellant: water with dish liquid and lots of Tabasco sauce. But, I did not apply it as often as I should have. It worked but wore off quickly. And when it rained or the garden was watered, it had to be reapplied. By July, I usually get lazy. July is when a garden goes crazy and needs the most attention. Sigh. Sometimes it's just too much responsibility. Too much like a full-time job. I mean that string of 100 degree days and the lack of rain just took it out of me, standing there watering and pinching and worrying and fretting and feeling a sense of hopelessness.

Im also going to finally installing soaker hoses. I have two in the shed. Ive just been too busy or lazy to rig them up. Next year will be different, she says, ignoring how many times she's already admitted to laziness and sloth!

Dusty and I planted radish and spinach seeds last weekend in hopes of a fall crop of food she will refuse to eat. She likes to plant seeds, weed, apply my plant repellant, but shes not keen on eating the fruits of her labor. I guess I shouldn't complain too much. I get free labor and the spoils are mine, all mine! Plus, I just like hanging out in the dirt with Dusty. She's a good garden companion.

And we have an apple tree. Weve made a gazillon gallons of applesauce so far, as well as an almost weekly batch of apple cobbler (in which I occasionally add in some peaches or blueberries if we have some).

The flowers in the front and the planters on the deck did very well. Everything throve and the flower beds in front were covered in butterflies and bees and praying mantises (and Mr. Venus Fly Trap took care of the some of the bad bugs). It still looks lovely. I'm not ready to dismantle all that yet. Not until after the first killing frost.

This weekend were going to begin the front path project. I ripped up the weed mat and redistributed the pea gravel back in April or May. Now that weve gathered up enough field stones to build small retaining walls around the flower patches that border the pathway, Im going to buy some quickcrete and well be masons, stacking stones and laying down a path way in which to place gems and jewels and found objects. Hope it works.

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12:35 p.m. ::
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