Sunday, August 24, 2014

Late season care and maintenance

Just a short post on goings on in the late August vegetable garden.  I really need to start the plan for next years garden real soon.  It doesn't have to be detailed, just a general guide to where things will go next year.  Mainly I need to decide which bed will get the overwintered spinach and where the garlic will be planted.  I also need to keep track of which beds are amended with compost every year, something I have been lax about.  I know which beds NEED to be amended, for sure.

I decided to pull out the lone summer squash plant and let the sweet potatoes take over the bed.  I've certainly harvested enough squash from it, and I'd rather get more sweet potatoes from the space that will keep over the winter than get more squash that I'm already tired of.  It's been cloudy for nearly a week and the most recent squash rotted on the plant.

The bare soil in the back bed that grew potatoes really should be seeded in a fall cover crop. The seed that I have on hand will make plants that do not winter kill, and I've found the densely matted root system that the grasses make isn't worth the hassle.  From what I've been reading, a combination of buckwheat and cowpeas (a nitrogen-fixing legume) sound like a good combination.  Next year.

To the compost bin for the squash, except I don't want to add any more material to the existing pile because I want the compost to finish and be ready to add to some beds this fall.  There's a huge zucchini in the pile that weighed about 3 pounds (it got away from me) and was tossed and chopped up.  It's covered with fuzzy white mold.
Getting back to the new pile, it's as simple as taking off the top module and setting it to one side.  The chopped up squash plant went in there.  From now on any food scraps or plant debris goes into the new pile.
Once the compost in the larger bin is added to the beds I can consolidate the modules into one bin.

A young squash plant is growing in another bed.  It may or may not mature in time to grow some squash before frost.  That's a cauliflower growing in the center, the last of the brassicas.  It was planted with a broccoli and cabbage that have long since been harvested.  It's a Burpee's variety called Summer Harvest.  Two years ago I planted this variety and it did the same thing - hung around all summer then made a nice head in late August.  And that was a record breaking hot summer.  On the right is the last patch of bush beans.


Daphne Gould said...

I need to do some planning now to figure out where my garlic is going too. But I don't really need it until October, so I'm putting it off.

Mark Willis said...

My overall plan is already done - I use a 5-year rotation, so I just move each thing round to the next raised bed each time.

Susie said...

I wish I was as organized, but slow to get there. I know where my bigger rotations go (potatoes, tomatoes, garlic) but the smaller crops are still up in the air. I would love to get a compost system like yours - bigger for sure and having a clear cut-off so some can be used in the fall. Still working on that one!!

Post a Comment