State of the Garden

In order to decide what to grow, (see yesterday’s post) I needed to assess the state of the garden and see what can go where, and what is still lingering.  It is always good to do a state of the garden review and make some to do lists and help ease into the change of direction and focus a new season can bring.   For weeks now I have plodded along just doing the same old same old with little change to my water, weed, harvest routine.   So, this is what I came up with:

Late summer garden
Overall the garden isn’t looking too bad, but there are some bare patches creeping in.

Sector One

  • I chopped the tops off the basil and froze them for later use in pesto so hopefully I’ll get a bit of regrowth to continue to enjoy fresh basil before the temps drop permanently. I also scattered all the coriander seeds that had dried on the plants before ripping them up.  I’m hoping to create a perpetual situation where they just keep growing back from seed all the time.  The perennial herbs are doing fine and don’t need anything.
  • Half of the sunflowers were knocked to the ground in the winds earlier in the week. So, they should probably come out – or be replaced so I can attempt to replicate the joy of sunflowers in June that I had last year.  I should just pull out the carnations and be done with it – they are a mess and have been all year.  I also want to look for some late season flower seedlings now that we are back out of temporarily in lockdown again.  In the meantime, the zinnia I put in way too late are now beginning to come into their own.  And I did get carried away ordering bulbs online… opps.
  • I finally got round to sowing peas. They are in the same bed as the spring but will help to prepare soil for tomatoes next season as well as give an autumn harvest.  Technically I should be able to grow them all winter as we don’t get a frost, but I need to get my timings right, so I don’t hold up the tomatoes.  I guess at some point I will need to switch to the new pea bed where the corn is now. 
Rat eaten corn
There is nothing more motivating to harvesting corn than when you find a couple of rat eaten cobs. They are pretty good at determining the perfect time for harvest!
  • I finished harvesting the straggler corn ears but still need to pull the plants out. The rats found them last night and I didn’t want them to finish them off tonight.  Then I need to sow a high nitrogen cover crop to replace what the hungry corn used, not that the peas will need too much nitrogen, but it is good to replenish the soil back to a good starting point.
  • The squash are doing their thing and will need a cover crop to bulk up the soil for the new season corn, but there is no hurry, the harvest is still a while away.
  • The glass gem corn in the old onion bed is still ages off being ready, so I am really hoping the temperatures bounce back and stay that way for a while, but once the corn is done, I will need to pop in a cover crop to replace the goodness taken from the soil by the corn. But it won’t need replanting until the squash goes in, in the spring so it isn’t high on the priority list.
  • I’m thinking I just need to pull the tomatoes out and burn them. They are far from being healthy, lush, and prolific.  I think this belongs at the feet of the Tomato Potato Psyllid and I will need to devise a cover for next season to keep them safe.  But they are on their last chance – it is too hard to fight this battle and not get a good harvest. 
This lettuce is ripe for picking and won’t last long!

Sector Two:

  • The zucchini are doing well, they are still relatively young plants thanks to their late December replant and so the harvest is steady, and the powdery mildew is so far kept at bay.
  • The peppers don’t need any help right now and are about to bring the crop to a harvestable point.
  • I need to get some more salad seedlings and pop them in, but I’ve sown seeds while I sowed all the other seeds.
  • Most of the brassica are done. I did just chop the tops off the broccoli hoping for side shoots, but I think at this point it is just better to have them out and I’ve started new seeds.
  • The melons are on daily checks, to make sure I don’t miss the moment. Most of them, except the Sugar Baby Watermelons are small, but I’m hoping this won’t be a compromise on taste.
  • In the Odds and Sods the okra has finally got going and need regular harvesting and the eggplants need checking often. The peanuts have a while to go but the soy and popcorn are done.
  • The leeks are all that remain in the onion overflow bed but have gone to seed so I need to start these all over again. It won’t be long before they are joined by other overflow onions in their new spot where the zucchini currently are. 
I’m getting a good harvest of these often, I just need to find some great recipes for them!

Sector Three:

  • It is time to cut my losses on the 4th corn variety of the season. It isn’t going to happen.  The bed is empty.  Next season should be the cucumbers, but I think it needs to be beans because the leafy greens next door will still be full when it comes time to plant the garlic.
  • In the leafy greens bed the silverbeet is doing well. Everything else is a bit hit and miss but leafy greens don’t like the heat of summer so now was a good time to sow new spinach, tatsoi, bok choy, wong boks and other leafy things.    Next season the cucumbers will go there so that gives the leafy greens plenty of time to do their thing.
  • Now it isn’t so hot I’ve popped in some more carrot seeds and some more beetroot and fennel. Next season the leafy greens can move in as they move out.
  • The spuds are long gone. They didn’t do well either.  I think it was the same problem as the tomatoes.   I could try a cover crop in here, but carrots don’t like too much organic material and they are up next.  If I go early enough it will be well incorporated before the bed is needed for carrots. 
  • The beans are still doing their beany thing and the dried beans are drying on the plants. The spuds go in there next season so there is no hurry at all. 
  • In the latest reshuffle the garlic go back to where they were last year, hopefully it is a big enough time gap for the ground to recover, but it needs to go after a crop that is long since finished come the planting time in April but not in the same bed they came out of… I think this will work.
  • The asparagus bed is full of lush green fronds and I miss their flavour already. The bed needs nothing doing to it until June.
I love zinnia, I really wish I had got around to planting them sooner.

Sector Four:

At this point this section doesn’t need anything extra at all.  I just need to remember houseplants get taken care of at the same time as this sector.  I lost another couple of house plants recently because I forgot about them.  I wonder if I buy bigger plants and spend more money on them if I will remember to care for them?!

Sowing cool season seeds
I popped my seeds in a clear container to help hold the moisture while the seeds germinate. It is so hard in the lingering heat to keep the seed trays from drying out.

Sector Five.

The pumpkins are in their late stages, the luffa are fine.  Most of the berries have come to an end so this section really doesn’t need much doing to it right now. 

That doesn’t seem so unmanageable. 

Come again soon – the sun is back, and I need to make the most of it while it lasts.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)


12 thoughts on “State of the Garden

  1. My garden has gone to rack and ruin lately. We still have a bit of dill and lettuce, and I’m hoping for a tomato or two and a cabbage before all disappears under the sea of weeds, but… Things never really got under control, so keeping them under control was a bit of a non-starter! Next year, maybe…

    1. That is the good thing about gardening – there is always next year! Maybe at then end of the season mow over the lot and pop some cardboard and mulch down over the lot and let the worms clear the soil over the winter so you have a better chance at a blank canvas next season. : o)

  2. Beautiful and bountiful! I live in Texas and we were hit hard by a record breaking freeze. I had already sown my seeds and were blooming in the greenhouse. Lost them all unfortunately, but will sow again soon. Typically winter is about a month long. This year it was 3! Look forward to seeing all your bounty!

    1. I have been following the winter situation in your neck of the woods. It must have been extremely difficult. The good thing with the garden is it is still early in the season so there is plenty of time to start again. I hope the worst of it is behind you. Stay safe and warm and have a wonderful growing season. : o)

  3. A great garden update Sarah! Sunflowers in June you say? Think I might give that a shot .. And you have inspired me to plant peas, which I haven’t done in years! Great idea .. I binned my toms and zucc leaves ..

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