by Patti Ryan - I don't know about you, but my yardwork/gardening energy really just runs out about mid-August. I admit it, I get lazy, I don't look at my garden as much, and this year back problems have plagued my out door activities. Jim stepped up and at least made sure everything was watered, which consisted of turning on the rain collecting barrel and turning it off, so not too much to ask.
However with the onset of cooler weather patches, I have ventured out and gotten some real surprises. Yes, the garden is generally ugly. Wilted neglected plants, some of the bales have collapsed. You can see my husband's efforts to keep some of the bales intact & I think he has come up with a great way to do this next year, but that is a subject for another blog.
One of the main things I was pleased with was how our uprights held up. We made the PVC ones on either side so that they can be disassembled and stored for the winter if we want. Jim did have to tie up the one on the right, as a late season burst in tomato plants has pulled it over a bit.
Speaking of that late season growth, it's been CRAZY! The tomatoes, which I thought for sure were done, are now producing another, smaller but sweeter crop. We have another melon ready to pick and a tenny tiny watermelon too. What is funny is there are still NO weeds growing in the straw bales. I think I pulled out two grass plants over the whole season!
Below are some photos of all the NEW volunteers we have had this year. Zinnias and basil are growing again!
But the really nutty one is the Chocolate Cherry tomato I got from Stephanie and just stuck in a pot, because I didn't have room in the bales. I grew to about 5 feet tall with one supporting stick. We got those delicious little fruits off of it until that Mid-August time, when it started to fade. Then all of a sudden, BAM! The thing has taken off, is about 10 feel long and is chock-full of fruits. Now the race will be to ripen before the frost which is sure to come.
It's actually been a great gardening year for us, despite my limitations. I have enjoyed eating good, fresh food. I would like to start a winter garden, I know Joey ate from hers for a long time last winter. Sounds like time for a consultation.
River rat, student of life, nature-centric, anarchist.
Entrepreneurial artist, gardener, fermentation enthusiast. B&B hostess and aspiring freegan locavore
Mom, Grandma & Media Expert. Relatively new gardener & striving to be more sustainable.