A post full of pictures as we look towards fall and winter. Since we've had a couple weeks of 80 and 90 degree temperatures each day and no rain, I am ready for snow.
The garden is doing pretty good! Mostly we've had lots of success this year. A couple challenges, but we've got good ideas for next year to prevent the same problems.
This picture shows two issues: crowded unruly tomatoes and a cabbage patch that we gave up on due to moths (note the chicken tractor in the background). Our solution for next year is to plant our row of cabbages down the middle of a bed and then a perimeter of tomato plants spaced a bit further apart (2.5-3 feet). The tomatoes should deter some bugs and the cabbage won't need to be touched until fall. This way it should be easier to keep the tomatoes pruned and orderly.
Another issue, we got powdery mildew on our winter squash pretty badly this year. I think that the powdery mildew happened due to us watering at night (we knew better than this but neither one of us likes waking up at 5 am to garden) and crowding the squash. Next year spacing will be 3 feet apart and we'll trellis cucumbers to save space in the cucurbit bed. We'll try harder with the morning watering, but until we decide to invest the money in an irrigation system we won't be perfect. Fortunately, I think the winter squash will be OK. It is ripening in the greenhouse right now.
We've harvested half of the potatoes and decided to let the other potatoes get a bit bigger. We also harvested our spring planted carrots. I would estimate that we got 30-40 pounds or more. We have an equal amount of carrots still growing in the garden for harvesting this fall.
Despite a very slow start, the shade bed is hanging in there and filling in just a little bit more each day. I would eventually love for this bed to be chock full of gorgeous plants and looking lush.
We have been so focused on improving our outdoor gardening techniques this year that the greenhouse has fallen a bit by the wayside. Again, we will eventually invest in an irrigation system out here which should make things easier. I tried to start some seeds in here during the middle of summer. Temperatures got too hot during the day so that even when I watered in the morning, the seedlings had died by the afternoon.
A comparison picture to show what our front planted bed looked like 2.5 months ago and what it looks like today. I miss the spring green grass! We've let our lawn go dormant this summer. It's too much effort moving sprinklers around just for grass.
Annuals are helping fill things in this year. Next spring I will be adding more lavender, some rosemary and more mums. I've got clippings going right now inside the house that I plan on tending to all winter.
Always looking towards the future, here is the plan for the berry patch. We amended and tilled the soil, adding nitrogen and sulfur to optimize fertility for the plants and pH. In the next few weeks we'll get the fence up! As soon as the ground thaws in the spring, we'll plant everything out.