Thursday, September 29, 2016


     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.