Monday, September 5, 2011

The Test Garden Take 2

The season has started to change and I am so looking forward to fall. Summer was a scorcher. It burned up all the tomato plants in the test garden and the zucchini there had made as much as it was going to make. This morning, I cleaned out the test garden and readied it for fall planting with the help of my trusty neighbor ranchhand.

After clearing out all the vines and dead plants and placing them in the compost pile, Angelica and I piled on some extra goat bedding. The bedding will, over time, decompose and create rich earth loaded with water absorbing humus. This was the main reason I wanted goats. They are my compost and fertilizer makers.

Farmer G and I planted garlic bulbs, dill, cabbage, okra, and onion seeds. The only remaining plants in the test garden from summer are the green chiles, a few basil bushes, and one cucumber vine that may or may not survive.

Next is the pumpkin patch which had really been planted way too early in the season. We harvested all the pie pumpkins and a couple of gourds from the vines. There are still some good vines left that I will mulch around and then set in some new seeds to try for pumpkins in October--perfect for Halloween carving.

I have an order in to Johnny's Seeds for larger jack-o-lantern size pumpkin seeds. The giant vines are still going, but I haven't seen any fruit on them yet. I'm still crossing my fingers we might get one massive monster to carve.

The pumpkin patch needs a better border. I have one determined hen that escapes the pen and I find her each morning turning the soil all around the patch and on the sides of every path, making a big ol' mess!

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