Sunday, October 18, 2009

More Fall Cleanup

Yesterday was a full day in the yard. It was chilly, about 45˚F but warmer than Friday was. It was really a beautiful fall day. The sun was out and the birds were scurrying around searching for food. By evening I was exhausted and achy but the garden is cleaned out, lawn mowed, leaves gathered and added to the compost area.

The gardens look so bare now:

We removed the field fence that we used to mostly keep Bradie out of the garden and she immediately snatched up one of the unripe melons. Bradie loves fruits and vegetables and she made quick work of breaking into this melon and eating the inside. I wonder how it tasted?

I don’t till in my soil in the fall. Just give it a dusting of lime and a blanket compost and/or shredded leaves before the snow falls. Then in the spring, I will till it all in, plot out my paths in between rows, and layer solar mulch to help warm the soil. The SFGs will get a mulching of either pine straw or leaves. Just a little covering to keep that precious Mel’s Mix in the boxes when the winter winds blow.

We have had frosts almost every night this past week. The fall crops were even affected. The pea pods show some mottling but they are still growing and flowering. Once these die, the trellis structures will be removed and stored in the shed for the winter:

Most of the lettuce has bolted and the remainder has turned bitter:

The fall spinach never grew to anything substantial. I had problems with spring spinach too:

I don’t have a bagger for my mower, so I did some strategic mowing to shred leaves and push them into a pile where they were raked into a tarp and dragged to the compost bin area. It ended up being a nice mix of grass clippings and shredded leaves. The leaves were tossed into the old bin for now until I can build a new bin. The plant debris from the garden is currently in a pile nearby:

Although quite tired by the end of the day, I felt a satisfaction at what was accomplished. There will be more leaves to gather in the next several weeks. Hopefully I will be able to acquire the pallets needed for a new compost bin soon.


  1. Bradie looks like a real sweetheart. The garden looks very tidy and ready for the winter. I love the mixture of leaves and grass clippings from the mower treatment. It makes for the best compost pile of the year. The fall created pile is always my favorite finished pile to get into - always a really beautiful compost from it.

  2. I think Fall clean-up is a harvest in itself and as satisfying as any other. I thoroughly enjoy gathering all the garden waste and building up my compost pile.

    My spinach did poorly this year, both Spring and Fall. My peas did well. I just recently ripped them out and was quite amazed how hardy they are. A great veggie and a beautiful plant with a lovely bloom.

  3. Sounds like a well-made bed, corners tucked in and all.

    Sorry about the spinach. I wonder if there's something specific going on. It can be fussy.

  4. kitsapFG: This is my first year of serious composting. I can't wait to see how this turns out.

    miss m: I like the idea that fall cleanup is much like a harvest. I did experience the same feeling of accomplishment as when I harvest the veggies in my garden.

  5. Spinach doesn't do well for me either. I may try it again in a container, though. Bradie sounds alot like Jude - always wanting to get something from the garden.

  6. I am on the other side of the coin. I hate fall cleanup the garden almost looks obscene. Thank heavens I have the GH to keep things going. John

  7. Stefaneener: Yup, just like a well-made bed. I like my gardens to be comfortable and rest up so they are sharp for next year :D

    I am wondering about the growing needs of spinach too. It seems strange I would fail so many times with different spinach varieties too. Just another thing that I will need to look into over the winter.

    EG: Growing spinach in containers is a good idea. I may give that a try next year also. Bradie is quite a character. She loves just about all the vegetables grow (except onion….onions can be toxic to dogs). She usually sits just outside the fence waiting for me to toss her something to eat.

    John: I pretty much hate fall cleanup too. I procrastinated as long as I could. However, I love it when it is finally done and everything looks so clean and neat. And I will love it much more in the Spring when there is enough work to do to get things ready.

  8. It seems as though it was such a short time ago that we were waiting for those first green sprouts from our gardens, now we're putting them to bed! Time goes too quickly.

  9. Granny: So glad you have some internet where you are! Yes, it is difficult to believe that this summer is over.