September 2015 Wishetwurra Farm Overview

Mostly dry.

That’s the way to describe this season’s weather.

Week after week of days between 75° and 85°F and nights between 60° and 75°F. Nice beach weather. It’s weather that requires almost-daily attention to watering the garden. We’re frequently remembering what we’ve forgotten to water, and hauling hose or sprinkler to this or that dry spot.

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The garden, near to far: asparagus bed lushly green, getting thicker and greener as the summer progresses. Then celeriac, winter carrots, fall coles, and a row of lettuces. Green of oats on manured bed, then a row of second-crop sqush and cukes. Lastly the tomato patch.

The tomatoes and peppers are yielding abundant pickings every few days. Onions and garlic are in. We’ve been bringing in winter squash, and our ears of cornmeal and popcorn corn. We’ve been freezing tomatoes, drying/dehydrating tomatoes, and canning tomato sauce. Last week, an hour’s gleaning from the feral apple trees in the neighborhood yielded a bushel and a half of apples, which we’re turning into sauce. We’ve been giving away lots of produce to family and friends, as there’s way more than what us two gaunt old hogs can manage to consume.

The late summer garden is a combination of growth, lushness and abundance and of senescence and death. Bug and pest populations boom and bust. In the midst of plenty are the sure signs of the fall and winter that will come. There are still crops left to plant, but it’s also time to rip out the “done for” plants, to dig up the failures, and to start putting the garden to bed.

A garden produces a lot of material. For that bushel of corn you end up with a shocking quantity of, well, shocks. You can’t always leave things where they die. Diseased plants have to go to the burn pile. “Good” material has to go somewhere. Sometimes that’s the compost bin. That’s where the cornstalks went. As they went to the pile, I whacked them up with my father’s World War Two machete, which still has its original WWII olive drab canvas sheath. There’s nothing like a machete for whacking.

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The middle garden. Lots of weeding and un-planting going on. Nearest to us are some fall pease, a rejuvenating strawberry row, and along the bed that starts at the old metal trash can, a mix of chard, newly planted fall crops, and end-of season yet-to-be-planteds. There are some baking potatoes and summer leeks. That newly-worked patch that looks sort of like corduroy cloth is where the corn was. Now it’s planted to alternating rows of oats and tillage radishes. That’s an experiment, about which more later. Below that is an olio of flowers, roots, peppers, and whathaveyou. We’ll take a closer look around at details in another post.

The south end of the garden has been neglected for the last six or eight weeks. Now must come weeding and planting of cover crops. The battle against the bindweed continues. I have to dig out its white fleshy roots from many square feet of soil. The stuff won’t quit! I think I may be battling bindweed for the rest of my life.

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The far end…this year it’s been the neglected end. Its destiny for the rest of the season is catch-up care. Weeding, feeding, and cover cropping. “Mexico” never got planted to anything this year, because of the bindweed war. Maybe pease next spring. Maybe tomatoes after that. We shall see.

The “window” for fall crops is getting smaller. It’s too late for planting to get fall pease, unless the fall is unnaturally warm and clement. But still time for greens. Still time to get the greenhouse weeded and prepped for winter greens. Still time to haul manure and seaweed. The greenhouse needs to be rehabilitated and perhaps be made larger.

A garden never really “stops”.

Fall garlic planting time is only one month away.

 

 

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2 responses to “September 2015 Wishetwurra Farm Overview

  1. Wonderful garden, I would love one this size someday. May you harvest many good things before the end of the growing season. I know I intend to 🙂 Mostly tomatoes, those are always my favorite!

  2. It’s been said that one should not worry about size. With gardens, small and manageable is very, very good. Wishetwurra Farm gets away from us sometimes.

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