Saturday, September 14, 2013

Garden Workday

I was writing today's blog post Nd realized yesterday's never published.  Ugh.  Oh well, here it is, only a day late.  I did get in the garden today and built the new beds.  I'll share those pics tomorrow.

As promised, I spent a good part of the day doing manual labor in the garden.  I didn't get started as early as I'd hoped, my daughter decided I HAD to take her to breakfast.  Our usual diner was closed so we got bagels and croissants then drove thru for some frappuchinos, yum!  Because she forced me to take her out (ok, I love eating breakfast out so it wasn't too hard), I made her stop in at the local big box home improvement store to see what fall veggie plants had come in.  Since I didn't have a chance to start the seeds for my first planting of fall veggies in August, I figured it couldn't hurt to grab a few transplants to get started.  Not much of a selection, but I did manage to buy a few:). I ended up with purple and white kohlrabi, buttercrunch lettuce, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, stevia and purple basil.  I am trying very hard to get away from purchasing plants and start all my own from seed, but, for under $10, I can redeem myself for forgetting to start the seeds on time. 

Once I got out to the garden, it was so very hot-close to 90.  I will be so happy when the temps go down about 15-20 degrees, but I know it'll be at least a month, maybe two, before that happens, and all the hard work will be done by then.  I guess that's the price I pay for having a four season garden!  And, because it's Florida, it rained for a few minutes, then got hot and steamy, then it rained, then the mosquitos came out.  Once again, the price I pay...

I started with some long overdue Tower Garden maintenance.  I pulled out the year old tomato plant (took cuttings to see if they will root),  pruned the cantaloupe to two vines that were just starting to fruit, harvested sweet basil, planted a few of the new buttercrunch lettuce, purple basil and stevia seedlings and then filled the reservoir and cleaned the pump filter (which was filthy and would explain the low flow).  Tomorrow, I will start some seeds in rockwool so they can go into the TG by month's end, hopefully.  Again, I am starting late, but the tower allows me a little leeway with the dates since things seem to grow a little faster when planted in it compared to the ground.  It also regulates the temperature better so I can keep cucumbers and tomatoes going longer into the cooler weather.

Then it was onto the hard work-pulling weeds, pruning, and mulching.  I started at the back patio and made it as far as the first veggie bed.  It was about four hours' worth of work, but the results are worth it.  It looks a lot less cluttered now.

Actually, in this picture it still looks pretty cluttered, but in real life, it looks better, I swear!

I still have to mulch the walkway, but I need to finish the clean up and then build the new beds first.  Hauling yards of mulch from the driveway to the back yard is last on my list of tasks, anyways.

Tomorrow, bright and early, I need to get back out there.  First up is cleaning out the very overgrown and weed filled landscape beds on the sides of the house.  Not really a veggie garden task, but a necessary one that I've avoided doing all summer.  If I have any energy left, I will prune the lemon and nectarine trees that each grew about five feet over the summer.

Thanks for reading!

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