Reclamation of Terra Nova Gardens

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Temperatures are beginning to creep downward as Fall descends upon Nebraska. Leaf color change is in the beginning stages. The lush green continues because of unseasonable rain that has our accumulation well above average for the year.

What should be a month of slowing down of yard work and grass mowing has not happened this year. Weekly mowing continues with the first killing frost date only three weeks away for Nebraska.

Terra Nova Gardens is being slowly reclaimed for planting next year. Big changes are on tap for Terra Nova Gardens next year. Because of the total out of control year that just happened a new plan is in the works.

It’s a plan that requires only half of the 12 beds to be planted with six beds not planted and things done to build up the soil for the next year. There’s a lot of work to be accomplished before Spring.

As you can see Terra Nova Gardens is totally out of control. My time schedule this year just didn’t fit into gardening. When I should have been in the garden I was out of town.

When I was in town, it was raining or way to hot to be in the garden. It produced massive weed growth super fast and before I could catch up it was beyond my ability to bring it back to cultivation.

So now in this season, I’m beginning to reclaim the garden. The bones are still under the massive weed mess.

A couple hours later, this bed looks a lot better. I’m not quite done with the light soil turn over but it won’t be long now. I have used in the past old carpet to cover the soil for weed suppression and it works great.

However, Terra Nova Gardens is by a dirt road and dust flies all the time. When it settles on top of the carpet it has enough soil to sprout weed seeds. The roots will grow down through the carpet and reach into the soil and begin to grow with leaps and bounds.

Periodic turning over of the carpet will keep the weed grown under control but if left for weeks or months… well, you see the result. I have thought about tarps and even began to cover the reclaimed beds with a couple but now I think better of it because no moisture will soak through the tarp. So that would only be a temporary thing.

The backyard garden beds at the Urban Ranch where I live did well this year. Eggplant was the star of the year. However, here in Nebraska, city folks don’t really know what an eggplant is or what to do with it.

It’s not good to have an abundance of eggplant because even those that want one will only take one for the whole season. Big note for next year: Don’t grow so many eggplant even though they are easy to grow.

The bucket garden didn’t happen this year but will be moved to the patio next year. A total of 21 buckets will be brought into production on three bottom watering gutters automatically filled with gravity feed from the 400 gallon rain water catch tank. I may have to work out some kind of automatic top watering system as well.

Each garden year brings new challenges, set backs, and surprises. This year the surprise was potatoes.

Who knew that under a totally out of control weed mess that a harvest of potatoes laid wait to be dug up. This hand full of potatoes is a small portion of what remains to be harvested. I took this group home and had a feast for dinner/supper that was so good.

The taste of freshly harvested potatoes is no comparison to the store bought potatoes grown for transportation and storage and not taste. My storage room will be filled with potatoes soon enough. It was total surprise to see such nice potatoes under the lost cause potato bed.

Well, that’s all I have for now. Until the next time. I hope and pray that your harvesting will be abundant and last the entire Winter without spoiling.

If you see a guy walking around at the Topeka MEN Fair with this shirt or a white one just like it, stop me and say hi. I would really like to hear about your gardening experiences this year. Hope to see you there.

Photos property of Nebraska Dave.