Saturday, here at the Lair, nothing like the fourth of July…

I got some fall cleanup tasks done this past weekend. The weather is beginning to cool, and the air is crisp with the promise of fall. This is my favorite season. I decided to get the back corner bed in line Saturday, beginning with emptying out the potato sacks. It was a paltry harvest for so much hassle, but as I regularly say, the time spent tending any growing thing beats the actual reward. I blame the weirdo weather the most. Here’s the outcome for the potatoes, Kennebec in the top photo and Yukon Gold in the bottom photo.

The plan was to empty the bags into the raised bed frames, and I thought I’d fill maybe half of one of the long ones. No ma’am. I filled darned near all of one of them! I’m pretty pleased with that, and I plan to go out and screw strap PVC pieces to the sides so I can hoop the long beds like I have in my fenced garden. They are the basis for my herb garden next spring, and I’m very excited about the new set up.

I’ve had two bags of dirt sitting out there since early this spring. I finally dumped them into a square bed, and it filled it up quite nicely. I may pick up another couple bags and get the other one filled so I can hit the ground running in the spring.

I plan to hit thrift stores to find a better chair for relaxing in my herb garden than the buckets you see by the rain barrel. 😄 There will be a stand of upright thornless blackberries behind the square beds, and I’m considering a couple of hazelnut bushes behind those. I’m planning to put tomatoes in the bags next year, as well. This area will be fenced in like my raised beds, and I’ll run peas or beans up the fencing to make a little bit of a garden room. It will be a lovely place to sit and read among the herbs.

I harvested the bulk of the cucumbers in the walnut bed. I removed all of the fencing barriers but one, and I put that one around the two most likely zuchinni plants left. I pulled up a ton of grass and weeds and will let the deer take care of the remaining cuke vines for me.

I took the remaining fencing barriers and brought them back to the corner bed. While moving the frames recently I noticed that three of my previously eaten to the ground by deer watermelon vines are making a solid run at living. I don’t know if they’ll produce before frost, but I put barriers around them for the vines to climb and to protect them from the deer. Good luck, little watermelons!

Another task was to prune the Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes. I found that they too are making a second run! I’ve been throwing any split ones I see back into the pots. They will absolutely come back next year. I cut back the non-producing vines and used an old election sign to prop the new growth up from the ground. I’m happy to have another run of these, because I’ve been eating them by the handful all summer. I think those pots have a permanent location there. It’s very convenient to the kitchen.

The Buttercrunch lettuce is doing well in the Coleman cooler. I love this stuff and I’m super excited to get a quick planting in. I can grow this all winter in the cold frame.

The fenced in garden got another planting of turnips, beets, and radishes. They will be up before the first frost, and frost actually sweetens turnips. If I mulch straw over them, I can go out and pull turnips all winter. I plan to pickle the beets when they’re still small. I’ve developed a like for these, thanks to the BSE and the gyro plate at Theo & Stacy’s restaurants.

I also planted valerian in the front bed. It’s a medicinal, and I’m excited to learn more about. This plant had been in a “temporary” pot for over a year. Oops. It grew roots out the bottom and was enjoying the straw bale where I’d set it down last summer. Comfrey and marsh mallow also went in among the blueberries, I’ve been procrastinating planting them too, but only for a few months. Perhaps I’ll move them to the herb bed next spring, but for now they look pretty happy where they are.

Winter’s coming, but I’ll still have things to discuss, so stick around, folks. Thanks for hanging out with me this far.

Author: Amy Crabtree Campbell

figuring it out as I go, since 1967

4 thoughts

  1. Looks like you made great headway and glad to see round two for some of the plants. Potatoes, small they maybe, still look good to me and I bet they are tasty too

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