Thursday, September 29, 2016

GARDENING IS OVER!

     When I talk about gardening it's vegetables. We do talk about a flower garden but that's only a small part of the complete yard.

     Yes my gardening is finished except for the big fall job of cleanup. I still have carrots and parsnips to take out yet. I like to leave them as long as possible...end of October. Carrots don't keep that long. At least I haven't found a way to keep them over 6 weeks. I process the parsnips for the freezer by cutting them in French fry size. I like to fry my parsnips and they have a rich nutty flavor. I took the last 6 cobs of corn in to store in my refrigerator.

     So once all vegetables have been harvested it's time to look after the soil.

     My vegetable garden is quite small. I started it in 1970 when I as a much younger man. Now you know where I'm going with this. I dug the garden by hand both fall and spring. It was a piece of cake. The soil was the best loam they could find.

     Now from 1970 to 2016 , two things have been happening. I've been getting old!!! The soil has changed with some help. In 1997 I had to replace my sewer line. Of course, the dumb thing had to run right under my garden! And when the trench was filled in lots of clay got mixed in with my awesome loam garden soil. This has turned the nice loam into a heavy clay. It still grows a great garden but it is a challenge to dig the soil.

    Weather conditions this summer made things worse. We had more than average rainfall. Rain packs down the soil. with all the rain I couldn't keep the soil loose between the rows. The soil comes out in large chunks and it sticks together. So I'm not satisfied to have soil with lumps larger than two bricks.

    So I will be getting some physical conditioning. From digging the whole plot in an afternoon when  I was young., I will be digging the plot over 5 or 6 days depending on the weather

    In spite of the challenges , I would not miss growing a vegetable garden.



29 comments:

  1. I admire your dedication to creating the right soil. We plant our plants in the soil we've got and just hope for the best. (Then again, we're not growing veggies -- just flowers and ornamentals.)

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    1. Bur flowers are very fussy about the soul they grow in also the light

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  2. A vegetables garden is a lot of work, we gave up long ago...

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    1. You've got that right but I enjoy plants and the fresh produce.

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  3. The corn looks wonderful! Don't work too hard. Good work.

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    1. I love corn. In my family if we had corn for supper that's all we had. the Micro manager doesn't like that.

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  4. i see some folks here do it, but they have to haul in good topsoil to do it. our soil is a mix of sand and clay.

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    1. You're right. Sand and clay aren't right for gardens.

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  5. I too have a small vegetable garden, and I need to get it ready for winter, too. I love having one and add some compost to the soil to replenish it. I usually wait until springtime to do that. Maybe I'll plant parsnips next year. :-)

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    1. IO can tell that you really like your little garden and also eating fresh from the garden produce.

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  6. I plant a cover crop like oats to add compost to my soil. Still getting a few tomatoes here.One year I was waiting for frost to nip my parsnips and make them sweeter, and the first frost was snow. I didn't get them out of the frozen ground and sold my home over the next month. The new owner didn't eat parsnips or even know what to do with them. I went back past over the summer and the plants were 4 foot tall.HA!Hard to dig then, let alone even till through.

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    1. I picked all my tomatoes and they will ripen in the house. We've had no killing frost yeat.

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  7. Growing your own food if you can is always the best. It is a lot of work but well worth the effort. I hope your garden cleanup goes smoothly!

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    1. With fall clean up you do what you can and the rest you do in the spring.

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  8. Hi Red, Sure like your garden and your story about it. As you mentioned in a comment on my blog, I have a good view here. The trouble is, I'm missing a place for a garden. Too crowded here and one of the downsides of living in a big city. Yes, there are "pea-patches" not far away ... anyone can use them ... but that's not the same as a neat garden in your yard. When I did have one years ago my favorite part was getting those seed catalogs in the dead of winter! :-)

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    1. I'm not big on studying the seed catalogs. Long ago I found what works and stick with it.

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  9. Sounds like it's time for some good soil amendments to your garden.

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  10. I'm sure there are physical benefits to gardening, but I'll have to look for similar benefits elsewhere because I don't garden. My loss-no fresh vegetables.

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    1. Each one of us has very different interests which is just okay

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  11. Gardening is wonderful exercise and you are smart to spread out the heavy work. You will stay healthy from the exercise and the wonderful vegetables. That's a big win!

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    1. I Really like watching plants develop.

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  12. I don't have a green thumb thats for sure

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    1. My Dad was a great gardener so I had a good example to follow.

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  13. My hubby always grows a vegetable garden every year and I'm the lucky recipient of his hard work.

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    1. I would really miss the produce that comes directly from the soil.

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  14. Did you mean to include the word "not" in your last sentence? Do any teenage schoolboys live on your street? Next time you spot one say, "Hey buddy - I'll give you a dollar if you'll dig over my vegetable plot."

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  15. Hi Red, You are a trooper to keep gardening, one day at a time. Clay is hard to work with, keep adding sand and compost!

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  16. My dad didn't like vegetable gardening, though our family grew a good number of vegetables in the back for the freezer. Over time as I entered my teens, he'd gradually plant rolls of grass on a strip to shrink it.

    They generally would cut the carrots up and back the crop up in freezer bags to be taken out whenever my mother wanted carrots for vegetables.

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