Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Putting the Garden to Bed

It was a mild day yesterday, so I took advantage of the lack of rain to start putting the garden away for the winter. First I cleaned out a bed and planted the garlic - seven varieties, the larges bulbs from each (Inchelium, Chesnok, Kahzakstan, Germany White, Germany Red, German Extra Hardy (which seems to be a soft neck variety), Crysalis Purple and Purple Stripe. Planted 20-27 of each variety.

Then I attacked the rest of the garden. Pulled out stakes, pulled out weeds, dug out weeds, dug out beds. I only got six beds done - the weeds were out of control. I really should weed in the summer, but this summer it was just so wet...

Then each of the beds I cleaned out (six down, ten to go, plus the new patch to prep if I want to use it next summer), I added my soil ammendments. Since I am still manure-short, I used greensand, rock phsophate, and domomite lime. I targeted the five beds that have had a sour smell since the first year I put them in (three years ago). Admittedly the smell isn't as bad, which means the soil must be improving, but every so often I get a whiff of it - a sure indication of acidic and generally poor conditions. Which also explains why the buttercups and other noxious weeds do so darn well here.

My day started at 9:00 AM, with a walk for the dog, followed by cutting up fat to render into lard. It ended at 6:30 PM with me pounding in posts for snowfencing to protect the cedar hedge from the deer this winter. Needless to say, it was a long day.

But, it's a good thing I did what I did, for this is what it looked like this morning:

That's the garlic, under the snow.

Crabapple bent under the snow.

After taking the dog for a very short walk, I turned him loose in the yard so I could knock the heavy wet snow off the apple trees. They still have their leaves (as you can see by the crabapple), so their branches were bent way down; the new apples were actually bent to the ground, an easy feat since they are mostly just a single whip of a stem.

Snow Falling on Crabapples

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