Archive for the ‘Time in the garden’ Category

Beauty and Pollinators in the Garden

Flowers add so much to a vegetable garden.  Besides, beauty, they attract pollinators and other helpful insects.  Diversity triumphs once again.

Cosmos: A Flower for All Bees

For years we’ve enjoyed Erika Hunter’s beautiful Cosmos in her bed at the top of the garden.  I have seen so many people posing for photos in front of them.  Now I discover how important that planting is for all the bees, both honey bees and native bees.  Take a look at this article from Honey Bee Suite, an excellent website about all things bee.

http://www.honeybeesuite.com/cosmos-seeds-for-all-kinds-of-bees/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+HoneyBeeSuite+(Honey+Bee+Suite)

Thank you Erika!  We look forward to your Cosmos again this season.

Cosmos

Cosmos

Wait a minute–I thought it was December?

Here’s a picture I took of one of the raised beds.  When do you think this was taken–April, May, June?  No it was taken yesterday, December 18th.  These vegetables were planted in late Fall and continue to grow, albeit, slowly.  Maybe they will still be there, getting a head start this Spring.

I pulled up my chard and threw the stumps back onto the garden to decompose and instead they have started to grow again.  I will be able to harvest some chard next week.

And, here’s  a dandelion blooming out at Wagon Hill.

If this continues, we may want to consider late season growing.  If I had hoops in place I probably could’ve been harvesting non stop.

But, then again,  it’s nice to take a break ….to nurture my dreams.  December bed 2015 MG_2263Winter chard  2015 IMG_2262IMG_226412391001_1173561562673759_7725237688121138166_n

 

 

The Garden at Rest….Almost

 

WHF CG-2 This aerial photo of the Wagon Hill Community Garden shows how neat and well managed the garden is.  Even the Heritage Plots, always a bit disheveled, look organized at this distance.  Up close the garden has a strangely tropical look with the kale plants pretending to be palm trees.  There is still food in the garden even at this late date: kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, even a few herbs scattered here and there.  And,  there are new shoots of garlic coming up, a reminder that underneath all that mulch and dark soil, spring is waiting.

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Cover Crops

Cover crops in Raised Beds

Cover crops in Raised Beds

I’ve had question from a  gardener about the use of cover crops instead of leaves or hay.  Yes , you can plant cover crops.  They are an excellent way to replenish the nutrients in the soil. Here is a link to an article about the types of seeds and the way to plant.

http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/cover-crop-basics

I am planning to plant Field Peas and Oats.  If you read the article you will see that these die down during the winter, making it easier to plant again in the Spring.  I bought the seeds some time ago from Fedco but I have seen packages of seed at Wentworth Greenhouse for home gardeners.

Happy Fall, Ellen

Garden Lethargy

It’s a curious thing that just when your garden is producing and doing what you have waited for all season, that a kind of garden lethargy sets in. I don’t know exactly what it is.

The Heat? Anticipation is greater than the Reward? The plants look ratty? School is about to start? Just plain tired?

Whatever the reason I have actually been heard to groan at the sight of yet another ripe tomato.

But we cannot give in to complacency now! Along with ripening tomatoes there are also ripening weed seeds. It’s time to admit that the volunteer “kale” is really Lamb’s Quarters and that “chard” is Pigweed and yank it out of your bed! There are a lot of weeds out there and they are sowing themselves back into your bed and your neighbor’s bed right this minute.

Please take some time now to tend your beds. Pick that ripening tomato and pull up those weeds.
We’re not done yet. You’ll thank me in the Spring.

See you in the garden, Ellen

Garden Inspiration

Welcome to the new growing season. By way of inspiration during this snowy time, I thought I’d share with you a sampling of vegetable and garden products I am still enjoying from last year’s harvest.

In the basket are russet potatoes, beets, a cabbage, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. In jars are mixed pickled veggies, bread and butter pickles, green beans,tomatoes,  salsa and pesto. In my freezer I have chard, roasted tomatoes, and pumpkin puree. They weren’t photogenic enough for the photo op.

The potatoes, beets and cabbage have all ambitiously started to grow roots and sprouts. I am wondering if I should really eat them or just replant them! The cabbage,which I stored in the refrigerator is also growing little cabbages around the base. I also stored the beets in the refrigerator and while they are now starting to get a little soft up until a couple of weeks ago they were still crisp and firm. I can eat the softer ones and they taste fine. The squash and potatoes were stored in my basement. They do need to be eaten soon or I could cook and freeze them. The vegetables pictured are just a few of the ones I have left to eat.

So, as you page through your seed catalogs, be sure to consider some vegetables for storing. You will enjoy having them in the depths of winter.

Think Spring! Garden Steward, Wagon Hill Community Gardenstorage vegetables