Picking the last veggies and cleaning the garden beds

It’s been rainy and cool the last few days but no frost or freezing yet here in the valley.  So far I have a 3 gallon bucket full of green tomatoes and the big bed is cleaned out. I manage to fill one of the big trash bins with all of the tomato and squash vines. This will be the first time of getting the beds cleaned in the fall since I want to see if the soil does better with compost and straw covering it till spring. I’m going to add a couple wood dividers to the big bed so I don’t over plant like I did this year with the tomatoes and squash.  Next spring I will be adding some heavy duty plant cages so I can grow more plants vertically and start adding in some more root crops for storage.  I did not expect the tomatoes and squash to grow so well and they took over the garden beds.

I’m very pleased with how the celery did this year. It is a rich green color and much more flavorful than the store bought stuff so a little goes a long way. This is the first year of I bought a starter celery plant that came out of Utah, they did very well and I will add it to the garden bed next year. What I want next year is the garden beds  grow a the mix of celery, carrots, peppers, onions and garlic to dehydrate for a flavor booster to meals.  Those veggies will be needed for just about all savory meals.  Plus they work great adding in vitamins as well as taste.

The front beds did pretty well overall though it was more of a test rather than a planned garden. The alley area with the sun choke shows more promise than I had imagined when I started it in the heat of summer.  I got a couple of ideas for a couple modified hugelculture type beds as watering that area is difficult at best.  Sometimes I feel like I’m back in the army digging so much, but I’m making  garden beds rather than holes in the ground that must be refilled.  At least I don’t have to dig quite as deep as I did for a “foxhole”.  The alley area gets plenty of sun and tends to be the warmest of the micro-climates I have available, so it is a spot for early planting as well as an area for plants that need hot and somewhat dry conditions.

I got an idea for a small pond that would be fed water via a rainwater down spout and I want to attract some ducks and birds that migrate through the area. While some people might complain about “city” wildlife.  I would like to attract more as an alternative form of entertainment and potential food source. Plus I have always wanted to have a small Zen/meditation type garden for just sitting, reading a book and just thinking.  My house is getting much quieter for noise and while it is a bit disconcerting at times, I find I  like listening to the quiet.  I have notice just how noisy my home is, what with fans, heaters, fridges and thing powering on and off.  Some people can’t take the quiet, but I want to embrace it.

One last thing is the compost pile and how easy it will be to add the leaves to the piles as well as cover to the garden beds via the leaf blower rather than bagging the leaves for the trash.  I have to say what I think of as garbage is undergoing a radical rethink.  The leaf blower/vacuum is a great tool to make my work load easier as I just  blow the leaves close to the compost pile and then use the vacuum attachment to bag and add a brown to the compost pile rather than adding it to the trash.  Also the spent grains from beer making seem to act as a green in the compost pile. So if you don’t have an animal to feed those grains they will add a lot of green matter to your compost pile.


7 Responses to Picking the last veggies and cleaning the garden beds

  1. If it would make you feel better you could paint some rocks. I know nothing ever gives me that useless Army experience quite like painting stuff that doesn’t really need to be painted 🙂

  2. Jamie says:

    PP: LoL ain’t the truth!
    I’m trying go more natural and more of a perma-cultural setup. Obviously I did not soak up all of the army mindset and find no overriding need to paint rocks. Though I still want to do a police call to pick up trash.

  3. S.Lynn says:

    Last year I planted a whole 4×10 box of garlic. I’ve had granulated garlic (from dehydrating the cloves) and a freezer bag full of crushed garlic to use. It’s the best. I’ve started more this week along with shallots. Now, that’s in the foothills of central California. I don’t know if it would grow/winter over in Idaho. I’m bringing some up in next couple weeks to plant and see if it works. Need to get a small greenhouse built next year in Wilder.

  4. Jamie says:

    S.Lynn: It’s not that garlic won’t grow here but there is a disease of some sort that migrates from garlic to the onion crop here in Idaho.

    I’m going to try out planting a few cloves of garlic in the next couple of days and see what happens this spring. Even if my little test fails I will have lost nothing but a few garlic cloves.

  5. kymber says:

    Jamie – all of my outdoor stuff is pulled and in the compost but the greenhouse is still producing tomatoes and peppers and whole pile of herbs – it’s awesome! i have tried and tried to grow celery from seed – FAIL! so now what i do is a trick that i learned from Sweet Sandy over at Oklahoma Transient – she has a post about taking the bottom off of a celery and replanting it in a pot. i tried it with local, organic celery and it works!!! the celery keeps coming back! but if you are having such luck with your celery slips – keep it up and congrats!

    as for silence – it is dead silent here. i find going into town so noisy, it actually bothers me and sometimes sets off a migraine. we don’t have any background noise in our house such as a tv or radio on, ever (except for one movie or tv show a night). so after being in this kind of quiet for several years, there are times when the sound of the kitchen, the sound of the computers, the sound of the lightbulbs….there are some days it near drives me crazy. but thankfully we spend a lot of our time in the yard.

    i’ve caught up on your previous posts and it seems things are going really good – i’m glad to hear it!

    your friend,

    • Jamie says:

      Kymber: I still need to get my green house up and a going concern. It’s amazing how time flies when you are busy dealing with life and things that go sideways.

      I haven’t had much luck growing celery from seeds either so I was very excited when the local farm store offered small celery plants out of Utah. I got a nice bunch of stalks today but I left the root and a couple of the inner stalks in the bed and will add some compost and a lot of straw mulch and see how the celery does over winter.

      I guess I’m getting old but I find it some strange that many people need all that noise or have to be constantly entertained via some electronic gadget. I’m no Luddite that thinks technology is evil, I love my kindle and PCs. But I know that switching off Sat. TV and going to Roku was a great decision as there must be something I want to watch on TV rather than it be background noise.

%d bloggers like this: