Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fall Clean Up

The squash harvest was excellent

This was the hoop house - gone for good.

The pepper harvest from the EarthBox planters.

Black figs ready to eat.

Pop Sorghum ready for harvest.

Pop Sorghum eaten by the birds!

And this was supposed to be a Roma bean?

These are my favorite beans for next year.

Nice crop of apples this year even with the dry weather.

This is the red stemmed dandelion but its really chicory.

These yellow zinnias are a great bedding plant.

Pineapple sage is a fall bloomer.

Jelly melon - soon to be chicken food.

The end of the 2012 season for the main garden.

Waiting for the yard collection - most of this is not compost material.

Fall asters are cheery little guys.

The garden clean up was started today.  The squash have all been harvested and for now are in the garage.  They will be in the basement later this month for storage.  The garlic is dry and if I can find my bags I will hang it in the crawl space as the temperature is cooler than in the full basement and should allow for longer storage.  Onions were a flop this year so I don't have any of them to store.  I cut down all the tomato vines and sent them to the curb for pick up hopefully sometime this week.  I did the same with the beans, cucumber, and squash vines.  I started cutting all the sorghum but decided to put that off for a week.
The sorghum was kind of a success.  I harvested part of the crop a few weeks ago and lucky for us as the birds found it and ate all the rest of it so we have half of what we might have had for a harvest.  We experimented with air popping it and found that putting a serving in a wax paper bag and microwaving it was the best way to get it to pop.  I have maybe a quart or more of seed for popping so some small success with that.
The hoop house is gone.  It was an interesting experiment but not the best use of space in my small garden.  I intend to use my cold frames instead as I can get about the same amount of space use with them and they and can be moved much easier than the hoop house.  Plus, the plastic covering issue was not cost or time effective so no more hoop house in this garden.
The red stemmed dandelion (chicory) was really a great salad plant this year.  The plants are still producing fresh leaves and although they are bitter I find the taste agreeable and good in salads and other dishes.  I have not had them winter over so I will get and plant more next season for sure.
The fig trees have finished and we had a nice crop from both trees - the black figs do have the best flavor - but the brown turkey is easier to manage in this climate.  The jelly melons never did get ripe.  But I have a friend with chickens and they might like them.
I harvested the beans for next year and they are in a grocery bag for winter storage.  I only saved the "no name" old variety that I have had for a long time as the other trial bean varieties were not good.  The one so called Roma pole bean that very reluctantly set fruit, finally did, and the pods were small and not very good.  I let them mature and have some full sized pods to shell to see if they are better that way.  As a green pole bean they had poor flavor and tasted like one was eating soy beans instead of pole beans.  The other yellow Romano had poor flavor and we ate very few of them.  All the poles are clean and stacked on the top of the shed for winter.
The apples are slowly ripening and with so many different kinds on the grafted trees, I test each variety and pick only those that are ready.  My storage method is a set of Colman coolers in the garage.  Last year with the threat of a freeze, I picked everything and was unhappy when it did not get as cold as threatened.  This year I am going to let fruit stay on the trees as long as it takes for them to get ripe - ignoring the threat of freezing ( hopefully with good results).
Every fall is different.
Happy Gardening