Fall clean up

dspen(5b/6a)September 27, 2012

Its always a bitter sweet time of the year. The trees are just in the beginning of changing colors, the fall decorations are coming out, the garden is nearing an end. Everyone is looking back on the successes and lessons learned from the garden.

What is everyone doing right now to get ready for winter and what are some of your successes and disappointments of the year.

I have cleaned out all of the corn and made bundles to share with the neighbors for decorations. All of the squash vines have been torn up and ready to be disposed of.

Slowly I am removing the spent tomato and pepper plants.

Pumpkins are picked. Hoping the last planting of radishes and spinach will perform. I have straw ready to lay down on the asparagus and strawberries. Slowly its all being put to bed for the winter.

I was really excited with my pumpkins. It was the first year and they did well. I only planted 3 plants and harvested 8 large pumpkins. One plant died from squash borer.

I was disappointed in my tomatoes. I planted them a little too close and failed to stake them properly and ended up with a jungle. I got a good harvest, but will do things different next year.

Anyone else?

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

We are still too busy canning and dehydrating to do any garden clean up yet. Still some 50 lbs of tomatoes in the freezer to turn into sauce, eggplant to get into the freezer, and wife has the last of the onions and leeks drying in the dehydrator right now.

Then we have to get started on all the apples. We also hope to restock the nut supply this year since next years production will likely be small given all the heat and drought this year.

So the fall garden clean up is going to have to wait till next month. It will be cooler for outdoor work in late October anyway.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 3:02PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

No fall clean up here. We just tidy up as we go along and the garden is never really 'put to bed'. Still inundated with runner beans and zucchini. But there's a nip in the air and it can't be too long until there's a frost. The winter brassicas are ready to start picking but I'm leaving them until the summer things are finished. I just made a few jars of Marrow and Ginger from a giant yellow zucchini which escaped while I was away. Nearly time to sow favas and plant some garlic.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 4:01PM
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My garden won't be cleaned for another two weeks at least. The bush beans are coming on heavily. The peppers are still producing and the pumpkins are ripening. I need a frost to sweeten the kale, but I'll go ahead and take the chard now.

The tomatoes have been a complete disaster. I planted thirty and have harvested very few (comparatively). My guard dog doesn't guard. In fact, I suspect he's been acting maitre d' to anything on four legs. Come ye all ruminants, marsupials and rodents. Explore the epicurean delights of madam's garden cafe.

I have to figure out a way to deal with this next year. Oh, apples and black walnuts. The apples I don't mind. The walnuts are trouble.

Finally, we're preparing for a pig-roast fundraiser here. I think I'll cover the tables with brown paper and strew them with pumpkins and indian corn. The pig has been donated, the roaster fabricated, the rest is yet to be.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 6:45PM
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I still have a few tomatoes and peppers that giving up some fruit. Had to cover them the other night. Had some light frost. My beans didnt make it through. Nor did the okra.

I too am dehydrating peppers as they are ready. The mini bells were a big producer, much more than we can use at once. So into the dehydrator they go. I probably dont have near the garden as the rest of you, but its plenty for the two of us.

Deborah, I thought I was going to lose all of my pepper plants. The bunnies nearly wiped me out in one night. We put up a small fence to keep them out. These were peppers that cant be replaced at the garden center. I had started most of them from seeds. This was our first year for sweet corn and my husband was determined he would get it before the deer. He put a radio near the corn to come on if there was movement during the night. But he was up nearly every hour with a spot light checking to see if the corn was still there!! I dont know which one worked the best, the radio or him!! We did have a few tracks but no damage.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 8:28AM
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I've been hauling horse manure from the Clemson horse farm. 8x12 dump bed about 3 feet deep. 5 loads in the last few weeks. Probably 1 more coming next week before they have inspection. They load it for me. I dump it at home. Life is good sometimes.

Surprise early on was Swiss Chard. never had it grow so well. Big beautiful leaves. then weeds took over.

Also was beets. Never had so many do so well. Disappointed that rabbits or something ate every one of them down to a nub before I got to them.

Planted Silver Queen sweet corn in July in the midst of our mini drought and heat wave. It did very well, harvested this week. Out of one pound of seed, 500 row feet planted, maybe 350 to 400 feet grew. I got about 150 full to medium size ears, and a bunch of baby corn for salads or stir frying. Never had this much corn success before.

Yet to dig is sweetpotatoes in the next couple of weeks. Sample this week was awesome. One as big as a gallon milk jug. Several still larger than softball size. Some regular size. Just off two random plants near the end of the rows. I have 500 feet (300 slips) to dig. Always fun.

Disappointment was that I burnt my tomatoes and peppers before they went in the ground, so I did without. Otherwise, not such a bad year overall.

I still need to till and get fall/winter veggies planted. kale, collards, turnips, rutabagas, and other cole crops. Probably procrastinated too much...

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 1:59PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

Chris, where is that Clemson horse farm? I'm only 20 miles away from Clemson. I need to hook up with them! The only horse manure that I can find is "load it yourself"! A pita!

I'm still picking, pickling, freezing, and canning,okra, tomatoes, peppers, and peas. My winter veggies are up.

I plan to install my new attachment (it was hard to find and will need modification) on my 1 1/2 year old 48" Husky tomorrow so that I can use it with my pull behind leaf vac. I have been using my old 32" mower, too slow. Leaves are turning, some falling. I have tons of leaves.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 2:28PM
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No leaves falling here in Gilbert, SC yet! I planted brussels sprouts & spinach today. (I also planted some carrots -- may be too late, but maybe not). Also trying to figure out what my winter planting for spring harvest will be. Probably ought to wait and see how my fall garden does - LOL :)

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 1:50AM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

We're in Sonoma Co CA and it's dicey how to get the summer and winter beds to rest a bit so I can amend them! Our tomatoes/peppers/squash usually last well into October and often November, so it's hard to get fall/winter stuff started in time. I usually go with starts for the winter stuff.
I'm hooked up with a woman from freecycle that will give me all the HM I need, so I think I'll get a load for aging til spring. Then I can get it into the bed before planting time and it'll be nice and aged.
My leaves don't fall til November, but 2 of my neighbors have poplars that are dumping leaves right now, so I'll instruct them to pile them up and I'll come down with my leaf sucker/grinder that I got free from a yard sale and suck up all of their leaves. I bag these and add them to my compost throughout the winter as needed.
Have to pull my green beans tomorrow in order for the chard to get some light. Actually, I think I'll wait a couple of days til the heat wave passes! Nancy

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 8:43PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

Beans are all done. Plants mostly pulled and fed to goats.
Tomatoes and peppers still producing. They're way late this year. Toms will probably end up having to ripen indoors.
Still pulling a few zucchini, some kale and chard and have a few more onions in the ground.
We may get frost this week.

I've been working with gleaners and have 200+ lbs. of apples to press into cider, make pie filling and more sauce.

I picked 60 lb. of Mirabelle Plums yesterday and have to decide what to do with them. Tiny but tasty little things.
They're ripe NOW unfortunately.

Oh....and I start school full time on Monday.
No problem!


I love this time of year, but I'm glad when it's finally over and there isn't any fresh produce demanding my attention. Soon....very soon....

However, my favorite local farm has their closing sale on November 1st. I always go stock up on winter squash and whatever else I am short. They slash prices for 2 days, then are closed until spring. Ya gotta be there early!
Most of the stuff I buy doesn't require any or at least not immediate processing. Thank goodness!


    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 12:06PM
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Diane: "He put a radio near the corn to come on if there was movement during the night"

A radio, you say? I just now got back in town and read this. Do you think the radio worked, or was it your husband?


    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 11:29PM
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Deborah, LOL, yes a radio. He used a motion detector and hooked it somehow to a radio. If anything moved within the range of the detector, a radio would come on. Honestly, I dont know if it worked or if it was him up all night shinning a spot light on the corn!! He was hoping that the noise would scare the deer off. There were a few tracks but no damage done. My fear was we would get up in the morning seeing the deer dancing through my corn crop.

I think the deer had an established food route already when the corn was coming in, so they werent too interested in venturing too far from that path. Just a theory. I am sure he will out the radio out again next year.

Hey, whatever works!!


    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 12:08PM
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Clemson horse farm is near the T. Ed Garrison arena, not far from Tri-County Tech. Send me email. We might be able to work out a delivery if you're interested in more than a pickup truck load at a time. They're out right now due to an inspection coming up next week. But they should be flowing again in a month or so.

Whatever you do, do NOT go get manure from the T. Ed Garrison arena. I did that one time and it had syringes and trash in it. Never again. Never had a problem at the Clemson horse farm.

Clemson's Morgan Poultry Center will sell compost for something like $3 per skid steer scoop. I've never gotten any from them, but they do advertise once in a while. They're out on Cherry Road. i can get horse manure free, so I'd rather not pay if I don't have to.

Can't get bovine or porcine manure. they hose out the facilities and can't contain it for transport.

I don't know what direction you are, but I have a contact near Townville that will sell chicken manure cheap if they have it to sell. And load it. I did that one time. That's quite different than horse manure.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 12:13PM
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" My fear was we would get up in the morning seeing the deer dancing through my corn crop."

You delighted me with that one.

I do think I'll try the radio bit, though. Actually, at this point I'll try nearly anything.

Thanks, Diane


    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 3:04PM
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Now I feel it.. Fall.. Autumn... Beautiful colors. Hubby's vegies did well in the fair this year. Big Winds bringing in cold/freezing temps tonight. Covered up the toms and peppers.. hope they stay warm tonight. Pulled up the rest of the acorn squash, cucs and picked a mix of tomatoes too. Tomorrow night may be colder, too. .

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 10:26PM
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An update and addtional question....We went out yesterday and pulled a few more plants, took down the small fence that keeps the bunnies out. Picked several heads of bok choy. Wow, did that turn out nice!!

My question is because I had an issue with squash vine borer, is it ok to burn the dead vines right on the garden spot where we grew the squash? My thought is that the heat would kill any eggs that have dropped on the ground. Any thoughts???



    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 10:24AM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)

Digdirt- what do you do with your frozen eggplants and dehydrated onions and leeks?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 12:28PM
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