Garden 2012 Roundup

It was a bea-u-tee-ful weekend here at Casa 3917. Sunny and warm enough to be outside in short-sleeves, no jacket, at least until late afternoon. So, after a run to Tractor Supply for bird food and to Soviero's Tri-County Garden Center for bags of this and that (more in a sec), we took advantage of almost every moment, working mostly in the Kitchen Garden.

First, we finished removing Summer from the Warm Season garden. Mr. T had already pulled up the tomatoes and the okra last weekend, and I dug the sweet potatoes following our first frost... leaving just the peppers and the bean and pea fences standing. While he removed the fences, I weeded the asparagus bed and snipped all the yellowed ferns.

We'd decided to build a box for this bed, as we wanted to build up the soil around the crowns and make it easier to weed during the year...both important to the health and optimum production of asparagus. [You may or may not know...or care to know...that asparagus is a perennial vegetable, coming back year after year from the roots (or "crowns") you plant only once. It also hates to share space with anything, especially weeds...a real loner.] Mr. T had a couple of 8' boards for the long sides, but he had to cut two 3' boards for the ends. He screwed them together with deck screws, then nailed them to the corner braces he'd sunk into the ground. It ain't going nowhere!

We then emptied out the 'used' soil from the potato bags and spread out a good dose of mushroom compost. We will cover everything with a layer of straw after it has settled a bit. I can almost taste those tender spears that will pop us next Spring, can't you? Here's a pic of Ella Rae checking out our work.

Ella Rae approves of the new asparagus bed...but she'd really like to roll around in the compost!

Then Mr. T emptied out several bags of leaves* and ran the mower over them to give 'em a good chop. Next up, he got the big tiller running and turned the whole area under. I kept busy with the Mantis(r) tiller to dig new beds for daffodils behind existing daylily beds. When the Mantis conked, I continued pulling up the frost-singed zinnias and snipping the last of the rose-blooms. (Yes, the roses are STILL blooming)

So what's left, you ask? The cool season garden is hosting broccoli (pictured), cabbage, lettuce, a few carrots, fewer still beets, turnip greens, and collards. There are also a couple of rows of garlic that will overwinter and be ready next July.

Grow, baby grow!  Will you be ready for Thanksgiving?

We went out yesterday in the early drizzle (goodbye, good weather...:) and measured and marked the rows/paths for next year. We'll add amendments like lime (per our Soil Report), and North Carolina's own Kickin Chicken and Pete's Cow Manure before we put the baby to bed for the Winter.

You probably won't be surprised to learn that I took the measurements and spent the evening drawing up the Plan for Garden 2013. One can't be too prepared, can one?

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Leaves* - Hello, my name is Patricia...and I am a Leaf Thief. I admit it...I see leaves bagged up on the curb, headed to the landfill, and I can't help myself. I load those bags of once-and-future gold into my car and head home to the shredder. Nuthin' better to help loosen and build clay soils!

This year, though, I may have made the best deal yet. Our across-the-street neighbors have a beautiful front yard, lush and green...and they are fanatics about getting the fallen leaves off their lawn, sooner rather than later! I asked if we could trade all the veggies they want next year from our garden for their bags of leaves...and we would return the bags, too. We've had a similar deal with our next door neighbor...and our lawn guy, who brings us BIG bags of leaves that he "vacuums" from his customers' yards with his monster riding lawn mower. With all these contributions this Fall, we may not need to make the rounds of the neighborhoods the day before the HPNC yard waste truck does.

Still...I may hear the siren call...

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