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.