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Garden Clean Up

November 8, 2009

Following up to yesterday’s post in the garden –

It makes me sad, in some weird way, to see all the color leached out of the garden.  The vibrant greens and reds and yellows of summer give way to the drab grays and browns of November, and a certain listlessness envelopes me.  In some ways, I’m glad – we no longer have to go over there every other day to keep up with everything that’s going on. But by gosh, I miss all the fruits and veggies we had fresh every week this summer.

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Our plot as it looks now.

You can probably see that green plastic bag near the coldframe on the side of the picture. That’s our ongoing experiment in biodegrading.  We bought these allegedly biodegradable garbage bags a few months ago from the local hardware store.  It made the claim that it biodegrades in 21 days.  So when we cleaned up some of the pots from our deck, we dumped the dirt inside and brought it to the garden to compost, and we left the bag out to see how good the claim was.

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We think it’s biodegrading, but really slowly. We ended up poking holes through the bag and spreading out the dirt – it didn’t do that on its own. It’s been at least 2 months now, I believe – certainly not 21 days.  Granted, we left it out in the sun and rain, didn’t bury it, so this weekend we covered it with a good cover of hay and dirt to see if that would help.

We cleaned up much of the plot, turned over the rest of the lettuce beds, and sowed the winter rye.

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Old lettuce beds, turned over and sowed with winter rye

All the dead matter from the beds will decompose and hopefully provide nutrients over the winter.

Over most of the rest of the garden we mulched with the rest of our straw bale. It’s been sitting outside for over a month now and very very moldy, blecch.  So, feeling like real farmers, we grabbed pitchforks and took “books” of hay to spread out.  They’re called “books” because they are the likeness and thickness of books when you grab the right way with a pitchfork.

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K with a "book"

Alright, you can’t really see it there. But I promise, it does sort of look like a book in real life.

The garlic that we mulched some weeks back is looking great.  Looks established and it’s ready for snow!!

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Garlic sprouted

We thinned out the brussel sprouts even more.  I thought we had 9 plants, since we planted in a tic-tac-toe fashion.  Um no, we had about double that!  No wonder why they didn’t come out well.

I checked out Jenny’s old plot to see how her brussel sprouts were.  These are what brussel sprouts should look like:

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Nice, tight round balls, about the size of a Dunkin Donuts munchkin.

And these are ours:

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Much smaller, very open.  Definitely the result of planting them too close together.

Besides pulling carrots for this week, we went into Lev’s garden to cut what was left of his broccoli.  He had offered it to us some time ago, after he cut the big heads, but we never went over there. Now the broccoli has mostly gone to seed, but we cut little pieces here and there to eat this week.  Not sure how it will taste, but it cuts down on the amount we have to buy at the market.  And this week’s market is going to be an expensive one for us, because our Thanksgiving turkey is ready for us to pick up!

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