Garden Harvesting and Winter Preparation

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I’m not sure where this week went, but I only got to Terra Nova Gardens two days. One day was to fix fence, and the other was to remove all the tomatoes. It seems that something tore a huge hole through the fence. I kind of think that critter stood upright on two legs as there was evidence inside the fence that lead me to believe it was more than just curious neighborhood night critters. Barrels were turned over and things were out of order. The fence that was damaged was a 6-year-old chicken wire fence that needed to be replaced anyway; it was all rusty and crumbly. The chicken wire fence was replaced with a 5-foot steel welded fence with 2-by-4-inch openings. It’s a better fence and should last longer.

This looks like a squash graveyard. The idea when I built this slated wire trellis was to have the squash on the ground and the cucumbers that had been planted behind the squash would climb the trellis. The cucumbers did OK, but they stayed on the ground and the squash took over the trellis. Much to my surprise, the vine borer that kills any kind of vine plant never bothered the cucumbers or the squash. I’m not sure, but perhaps I’ve stumbled upon a way to confuse the little white moths that lay their eggs on the vine base and allow the their offspring to kill vine plants. I’ll give it a try again next year to see if it was a fluke or really is a discovery. 

The potato crop was a great success this year. I suspect the crop produced somewhere in the vicinity of 50 pounds of potatoes from a patch that was 4-by-28 feet. This picture is just part of the harvest. It’s inevitable to stick a few potatoes with the fork while digging them up; that produced 11 quarts of canned potatoes for winter soups. 

This is the potato bed after the potatoes have been dug and the bed processed for winter. Now the last thing is to cover the bed with fall yard waste that contains leaves and grass mixture. The compost process begins over the winter, and next spring the fall yard waste is buried in the bed to continue to compost and feed the squash planted in this bed. My method of composting is called “direct composting” and the compost is just buried in the growing area instead of allowed to compost down in a pile.

This week will be to clean up the tomato bed and perhaps the green pepper bed. Those dang green peppers just won’t quit this year. I’m sure I’ll have another bucketful before the plants come out.  Last year I had beautiful plants but not a single pepper.  It sure is making up for it this year.  

Have a great garden week and enjoy the fall weather.