I haven’t been posting much lately because I’ve been busy tearing out the garden before it snowed, preparing for winter inside, working (i.e. making a living) and am studying Permaculture design with an online study group. BUT I have LOTS to share with you and will in the coming posts. Some of it will be on the fall harvest, preparing the harvest to eat, review of last season’s vegetables and about the coming season (OMG! NOT YET-yes it’s true-the seed catalogs are coming in!) I find winter is a great time to catch up on lots of things we were unable to do in the summer/fall because of the intense gardening and to catch up on the three R’s (rest, reading, and reflection). So stay tuned!
I’m baaaack! Been on vacation all last week in sunny, warm Southern California down in San Diego playing on the beaches and up to Disneyland. Ahhh, 78-80 degree weather. How nice! A much needed vacation..But now that I’m back there is still much to do before cozying up to a fireplace and looking at future seed catalogs that I haven’t gotten yet. I’m so far behind, I can’t see. So here is my list of to do’s that I haven’t done:
1. Finish taking out the garden-only partially done. Must dispose of all tomato plants (all now dead), all cucumber and squash plants. I won’t compost any of these as I don’t want to spread any possible diseases they may have had since they are very disease prone and if you don’t get your compost pile hot enough, you may not kill all the pathogens. Also rake any debris and get rid of it. Make the dirt pretty. Here I come city dump!
2. Finish my compost pile. Got to get more coffee grounds, leaves and fresh horse manure or cottonseed meal (to heat up the pile) and add to the partially composted piles. Soon I won’t be adding any kitchen scraps as they will not break down in the dead of winter (at least not for me (I’m not a worm farmer)-Deb F. I need your advice on making hot compost in cold winter climates!)
3. I already took off the drip system timers but need to take out the batteries and put them inside somewhere. I never drain or blow out the drip and never had a problem. Ahh, one less thing to do!
4. Oh oh! I think I blew it. We have already had freezing weather at night, so I may have killed my new little friends-soil microbes in products such as Serenade, Companion and Mycorizial but I’m going to get them anyways out of the garden shed and put them in the house where it is warmer. Hmm, wonder what closet I can hide them in? I know, the cat room closet! Nobody wants to go in the cats room anyways (where the kitty litter boxes are)! I wonder what these microbes do in the winter anyways out in nature?! Hmm, I’ll have to investigate that this winter.
5. Put everything from the Tomato Lady business in the garden shed. Oh yea and clean up and straighten out that garden shed while I’m in there. And set some mouse traps in case they think the row cover is really just blankets for them in the winter.
6. I’m going to get the pumpkin patch soil tested this year and see what amendments I need to add. I’m going to add amendments to it and the general veggie garden as soon as the sales go on at the garden stores. Last year I picked up my Seaweed, Thrive, Yum, Yum mix, and Fish emulsion really cheap- right about now.
7. Need to make notes about what happen in the garden this year-you know, successes, failures, problems-things I can look at next Spring to refresh my memory. Need to make a diagram of where my diseased tomatoes were before I forget. Shouldn’t replant tomatoes back in those spots again for 3 years. I will be planting less tomatoes next year in an area that either hasn’t had tomatoes or it’s been 3 years since I planted there. It’s called plant rotation-but with the number of tomato plants I plant every year, it’s getting harder to find new places with in the garden to plant them or I may need to expand again next year. Na, just plant less tomatoes..
8. Finish up my collecting seeds and sorting them. I’ve almost done there.
9. Do you believe this? I’m planting some starts of spinach and lettuce in a cold frame NOW! Just an experiment to see if they will do well or not..
10. Planning to build a small high tunnel to be ready for early Spring. Hope it’s a warm winter…