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Gardening in November 2017

 

November finally brought the fall weather to Nebraska. The temps are 50s during the day and 20s during the night. The killing frost came about 2 1/2 weeks late. For a couple weeks, wind was the weather that kept me inside and not working on the garden cleanup. 

This year has been the year of vandalism for the garden. Old rusty chicken wire might keep out rabbits and other creatures, but not so much 13-year-old boys roaming the neighborhood with nothing else to do. This is the second or maybe third time they have vandalized the garden.  Each time the escalation was a bit more than the last. They smashed up two of my big wooden tomato cages beyond repair, dumped over barrels off the mini water tower, and tore a big hole in the chicken wire fence. As I’ve said in the past, neighbors have taken over watching out for the garden as I live about 20 minutes away. Cops were called and the culprits were caught. I didn’t press charges and hopefully this will be the end of damage from them. This area where the garden resides is not the best part of town and I expected a lot more than what I’ve had over the six years of gardening here.

So anyway, yesterday was a day of fence replacement. It really needed replacing, so the schedule was just stepped up a little sooner. I still have some work to be done on the roadside wooden fence. It’s the section that the van smashed through about four years ago. I did my best to get put it all back together, but it just wasn’t the same and is now falling apart in those sections. I’m hoping to get that repaired before the snow flies as well.

This is Bed 3, where the green beans grew this year. I had in mind to let them mature after a couple of harvests to have dried beans for soups during the winter. It was such a weed mess due to garden neglect that I just weed-whacked down the whole mess and covered the bed with leaf yard waste from my front yard. Next spring all that cover will be buried at spade depth and the beds will be left bare during the spring season until planting time.

I’ve found that spring weed control is in three stages. First the early spring seeds sprout and cultivation is just easier without mulch on the soil. Then comes the grasses and finally the bind weed. So a good hula hoe, or some call it a stirrup hoe, on a bed without mulch only takes about 15 minutes to completely cultivate. The mulch is laid down right before planting with more layers as needed during the growing season.

I’m not sure how it happened, but if you look real close, you can see my ghost in the picture. I didn’t realize that had happened until I got home and was downloading the pictures to my computer.  It looks pretty creepy to me.

Yup, here’s bed 4 with the frost killed eggplant, zucchini, and chard. The chard is still surviving but has a little bit of frost damage. One more good day of fence repair and cleanup will bring the formal part of the garden and fence repair for now to a finish for this year.

Here’s the garden view as of November 3, 2017. It’s starting to look like a winter garden with slumbering raised beds and no green.

I guess it’s time to fire up the basement microgreen project that uses the seed starting station. More on that later.

Have a great fall season and Thanksgiving Day.

Published on Nov 6, 2017

Grit Magazine

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