Friday, October 29, 2021

Garden Friday

milkweed and salvia
 Greetings on this Garden Friday!
Autumn has arrived in all of Her splendor!
A few remnants of summer remain,
gracing us with beautiful blooms.
The garlic we planted last week was up in a matter of days.
We planted out almost this entire bed
with one of the easiest crops to grow.
We use garlic for almost every savory dish,
so it is a staple in our fall/winter garden.
It will grow a bit more before becoming dormant for the winter.
In early spring, it begins to fill out and soar!

The cover crops are slowly making progress.
This is a special "raised bed" mix 
that I'm trying for the first time.
We were blessed with some rain this past week,
and nothing helps crops along like Mother Nature's gift.

I ended up purchasing lettuce and broccoli starts,
something that felt very strange to me.
With poor germination to blame,
I decided that it was necessary if I want to eat homegrown this winter.

There is abundant color popping up all over the area.
Our neighborhood has some glorious trees
peppering the sky with golds, oranges and reds.
It's one of the best things about my daily walk.

A bit of clean up was in order,
so I tidied up a few of the flower beds.
I'm amazed that we still have some blooms 
looking untouched by the cooler temperatures.

Our local Extension Center gifted some of the Master Gardeners
with free bulbs for planting this fall.
I hope to get these in over the weekend.

It's time for pansy planting!
The cooler temps don't bother these sweet things one bit,
and some were added to the mailbox bed,
as well as the pots on the front porch.
I look forward to many months of color.

I'm trying an experiment after watching a few videos
about trapping yellow jackets.
We have some near in our yard waste pile,
and I don't wish to use chemicals to eradicate the problem.
I'll share the results of this homemade trap next week.

We had a bit of a crisis this week,
when our rooster was attacked by a dog
who roams our neighborhood.
He was injured pretty badly, and shaking like a leaf when we finally found him,
but he survived the night and we hope is on the mend.
We now have a trap in our yard
so that the dog can be caught.
It has no collar and is quite skittish,
so it's difficult to get close enough to nab him.
The neighbors I've asked do not know where he lives,
but we're hoping the trap does the trick.
For now, Gandolf is in the garage mending
and the girls are on house arrest in the coop.

This life isn't always easy,
but we try to find the silver linings where we can.
Enjoy your weekend,
wherever you are!

Friday, October 22, 2021

Garden Friday

Welcome to Garden Friday,
where we share what's happening in our Piedmont garden.
The weather has been absolutely delightful,
and the best autumn so far since we moved up here.
Row covers were added to several beds in order to foster germination, 
because we've had mornings in the 40's and 50's.
So far, it's not looking good
and this may be the first year that I'll have to purchase starts.
It's a joy to see the pollinators enjoying the weather too.

This week, the garlic was planted.
I ran a bit short, as one of the bulbs that we saved
from last year's harvest, was found to be rotted out.
No matter, we filled most of a 3X8 bed with cloves
and are looking forward to watching it come along.

Rather than plant by specific spacing,
I decided to put five cloves in each 1-foot square.
 I keep seeing the picture in my head 
of what it will look like when it comes up,
and that seemed like a good design.
We'll see.

 The cover crops were also sown this week in last year's garlic bed.
This raised bed mix is a blend of several crops
including oats, buckwheat, peas and a few other things.
I noted on the label, the last item listed
was Noxious Weeds:  none

It's the first time I've used this blend,
although each winter I do sow one bed with cover crops
just to give it a boost.
The hope is that extra nutrients will enable 
whatever is planted there to do well.

 One of our chooks, Wilma, is looking a sight.
She has lost most of her feathers due to molting,
and just looks so pitiful.
I've been keeping Gandolf away from her as much as possible,
as it can be very painful for them to be touched without their feathers.
The rest of the chooks seem to have gotten all of their feathers back,
and I'm glad it happened before winter sets in.

I've taken to using the shavings from the coop
(with accompanying chook poop and feathers),
around shrubs and trees.
I'm hoping it will act as a natural fertilizer
and  helps me put it to good use.

The beautyberry is loaded with berries.
I hope that the birds will relish the treat over the next few months.

The loofah is not as prolific as in past years,
but we'll take what we can get.
They have not started drying on the trellis yet,
but as they do, they will be harvested and most given away.

 A row of spiderwart was uncovered while weeding a path.
I added a bit of wood chips to finish it off.
There's nothing like mulch to dress things up.
Looking forward to working on adding plants to the landscape
in the spring.

This weekend will find me outside tending to things
that have been ignored over the heat of summer.
I still haven't figured out what I'm going to do 
about the yellow jackets around the yard waste pile.
Nearby is also my leaf mulch pile,
which I will need to start filling up.

A gardener's work is never done,
but you'll not hear me complaining!
Enjoy this glorious autumn!

Friday, October 15, 2021

Garden Friday

Greetings from the Piedmont of North Carolina!
We have a short Garden Friday for you this week.
Fall is showing us her best with mild temperatures and low humidity.
It's such a blessing to spend time outdoors.
Most of our time this week has been tidying up the flower beds.
We've been working on seed saving from some of our favorites
like coneflowers, hyacinth bean, milkweed, nasturtiums, 
 rudebeckia, and zinnias.
We'll have a good stash set aside for next spring.
I had planned to move the yard waste pile
a couple of weeks ago.
The pile on the left is what I accumulate from fall to spring,
while the pile on the right is from spring to fall.
It was time to empty out the left side so that I could
begin using the right side.
Yellow jackets have made a nest there,
and I was stung on the ear while removing debris.
So, this project will have to wait until it gets colder.

Some of the trees are changing over to oranges, reds and yellows.
There will be a lot more to come,
as autumn subtly makes her presence known.

A few things are still growing in the garden
like beets, carrots, leek, okra, parsley and peas.
We are still awaiting germination on much of the
broccoli, chard, kale, and lettuce that was resown last week.
Garlic will be planted today!

Our garden flags have been changed out to reflect the season.
I'm also hoping to get to our scarecrow making this weekend.
The change in the weather is a welcome thing.
I hope you are enjoying the beauty of fall!

Friday, October 8, 2021

Garden Friday

 Welcome back to Garden Friday,
where we share what's growing in our Piedmont garden.
It's been slow growing and our germination hasn't been stellar,
but everything from broccoli to tatsoi has been resown.
A few lettuce seedlings have come up,
including buttercrunch and green oakleaf.
With the blessing of rain these past few days,
we hope that we will have plants popping up quickly.

The snap peas have germinated quite well,
and I've decided that they will be grown for shoots instead of pods.
I may even look into getting a different variety of seeds
specifically for growing shoots.

Although I did put aside a few heads of our home grown garlic for planting,
I decided to order a bit more from Sow True,
just to ensure that we have enough to use and share.
Sister is a big garlic fan and we must keep her well stocked.
This crop will be planted in the next week or two.

Our sweet potatoes were harvested this week
and I have to say that I am very pleased.
It's the first time since I've been growing them
that I remember pulling them up in clumps.
We grew our own slips, so I wonder if that is the reason.

They haven't yet been weighed,
as they are curing in the garage,
but I hope to weigh them in another week or so.
At this point, it's a waiting game,
looking out for new seedlings in the garden beds.
We are in a transitional time
and I'm still dealing with skin issues on my hands,
and have lost a lot of motivation due to my discomfort.
We'll do what we can!
What do you have growing in the fall garden?

Friday, October 1, 2021

Garden Friday

Welcome back to Garden Friday!
We have been blessed with gorgeous weather this week!
It's the perfect time to garden and get some outdoor projects done.

It's been a busy week for the caterpillars around the homestead.
We've had close to a dozen Monarchs hatch out of their chrysali.

These creatures never cease to amaze me,
and even Big K is mesmerized by the transformation.

We still have many more to come over the weekend.
It's quite an exciting time and I'm grateful I'll be home to see it!

In the garden, we are still awaiting a few of the Kajari melons to ripen.
This one's the closest, so I'll check it everyday.

There are even new flowers on the melon plants.

The melons share a bed with the sweet potatoes.
I'll be harvesting the sweet taters this weekend.
Can't wait to see what we get!

In another bed, the carrots and beets are holding their own.
In most of the other beds, germination was poor,
so I'll be reseeding this weekend as well.

I've been so happy with the lantana,
which I planted in old lawn mower tires.
They don't look like they are slowing down at all.

Some time has been spent picking seed pods,
so that I can have some of these hyacinth beans next year.
I also collected morning glory, moonflower and nasturtium seeds.

A mess of pesto was made this week
with some of the basil that was picked.
I've used it on my weekend pizza,
as it seems that I may have developed a sensitivity
to tomatoes.

All the beds have now been topped off with compost
and are ready for the fall/winter season.
This bed will be planted with garlic.

The first project this morning will be
to unload this trailer of woodchips.
I'll need a couple of more loads to complete the walkways
in the veggie garden.
So grateful to have found this close by for only $20 a yard.
The weather is absolutely picture perfect
and I'm hoping that it motivates me to 
consistently get things crossed off my list.
Here's hoping you are enjoying some beautiful autumn weather!