Sunday, October 16, 2011

Goodbye, Garden

After months of starting, sowing, watering and weeding, the harvest seems short lived. Many of these plants were started as seeds in April , so although we were lucky this year to have a long summer, it was still sad to say goodbye to the garden this week.                                                           
 A couple weeks ago there was a light freeze forecasted so we had covered the plants with plastic. A plant can do just fine as long as the water drops on the leaves don't freeze, so putting clear plastic over the plants can extend your season quite a bit. But with more freezing nights forecasted it was time to take stock, harvest the good and toss the bad.  

As we picked the last of the tomatoes, zucc's, cucc's and squash, all the plants and weeds were piled into the chicken run. This made the chore of cleaning the garden a whole lot more enjoyable because with every load of plants that we gave the chickens, there were some very happy hens and excited chicken noises.


This has turned out to be one of my favorite things about this chickens. I love that all of our spoiled fruit and vegis now go to the chickens. It takes all the guilt out of not eating that last zuccinni since it'll go to a good cause. In fact several of our friends have been donating thier zucc's to us this week for the chicken feed.

 After Whitney pulled all the plants, I turned the beds. Later this week, we'll mulch over each and "put them to bed" for the winter. By doing all this now, we'll have clean, well tilled beds all ready to go next spring

Another trick we've learned about gardening here is using season extenders, like these "water walls". The platic tubes are filled with water and the whole thing placed around the plant. This is how you start tomates and peppers early enough to allow them to mature, otherwise they'd never make it. This time we decided to try leaving them on the Jalapeno's for a while this fall to see how they'd do.  

One more trick we've learned is to go ahead and pick the yellow and some green tomatoes at the end of the season. As you use the red ones, the others wil ripen and be ready in a week or so. This will be more than enough for another round of salsa, or maybe some whole canned toms. So even though it is sad to say goodbye, we'll have memories of the garden through the winter. 

1 comment:

April said...

Beautiful photos. And lovely new look and feel to your blog too. Love the how-to feel of your writing tonight also. Great post!