tagryn (tagryn) wrote,

Final garden update, 2014

Final garden update of the season. This turned out to be longer than is the norm for Facebook, so I'm putting it up in LJ instead.

Last harvest, 2014
* Forecast is for our first freeze of the season tonight - I can hear the wind howling outside as I'm writing this, so that seems accurate. As a consequence, I completed the final closing up of the garden for the year, as everything outside will either die off or go into hibernation. Photo shows our green tomato harvest on the right, and sprigs from our rosemary and basil plants. I'll keep the tomatoes in the box and they'll all eventually turn red and ripen, or rot out (the proportion is usually about 50%/50% for each outcome). I had to cut the sprigs because both the plants had grown too large to fit inside our garden window, where most of the potted plants including the herb garden will overwinter.
* I'm going to be reconsidering the plant mix of the garden during the winter. After a pretty good harvest our first year here, the peppers have never really produced as I'd like them to. The cherry tomatoes are usually pretty productive, but this year I just didn't have the use or desire for them as in other years, so I may just plant one or two next year and go more with full-size tomatoes. The watermelons were a success in terms of production, but the fruit itself was seedier than I'd like, so they probably won't be making a return. I kinda feel a hankering to try some new vegetables next year, but exactly what those might be, I'm not sure of yet. Will probably allow myself to get tempted by the seed catalogs next spring and see what looks interesting.
* I'm hoping the grapevines I planted this year make it through the winter. All three of them did eventually sprout out of dormancy and did get a fair amount of growth, but I suspect we're at least two years out from getting a harvest from them, and a really bad winter could take them out. That would be unfortunate, since it would set that all back to the starting point again.
* A project I'm thinking about is planting milkweed in the raised bed that our kitchen faces; its not a great location for vegetables because its partly shaded by one of our apple trees, so I would like to fill it with flowers of some sort. The balloon flower I planted there as an afterthought did come in nicely, and the milkweed would help attract Monarch butterflies. In any case, I have the seeds for that already, we'll see how easy they are to cultivate inside.
* Other projects include planting a couple of hardier jasmine plants outside our bedroom window - I had put one in that did pretty well on the climbing trellis there, but it didn't survive the winter two years back. I think a jasmine with better cold resistance would do better, not ready to give up on that yet. The row of arborvitae we put in a few years back as a border all made it through the summer without having to use soaker hose watering, so it looks like I can pretty much leave them alone to grow on their own. Am glad I took out the Rose of Sharons this year, another year and they really might have been rooted in too much to take out on my own.
* I'm curious to see how the two big Mutsu apple trees do next year. I had prepared in advance to protect them from the codling moths which usually ruin the fruit...only to have the apples produce virtually no fruit this year. I'm still learning their rhythms, which seem at least in part dependent on how much moisture (read: snow) we have during the winter. Having said that, they're pretty old trees as they go, and eventually I'd like to replace both of them with Honeycrisp trees. However, that's going to be an expensive endeavor, and is at least a few years down the road.
* The two rain barrels are also showing their age; the faucet on one isn't working anymore, and the paint is peeling off both of them. I have as a project to repaint them both, though it'll probably be a very basic job since I don't want to put a lot of effort into them when we're probably going to need to replace them eventually anyway.
* In the front, we took out the yucca plant next to the driveway, which pleased Donna quite a bit (not a fan of the yuccas). I'd like to put some ornamental Pampas grass in that spot, as I like the way it looks, but Donna has expressed a wish to transplant the large rose bush in the front garden to that spot instead. To be revisited.
Tags: gardening

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