Monday, October 18, 2010

Scenes From The Fall Garden

Fall sure is doing a good job of making up for the disappointments of summer. We've had many sunny, beautiful days lately.

Here is an example of one of my annual traditions; growing a giant zucchini. I just let one of them go and see how big it gets. Pearl has kindly agreed to stand beside it to lend scale. I may carve this instead of a pumpkin this year. And hopefully I won't graduate up to growing gargantuan pumpkins.

I love to grow peppers, but there is no way I could consume all of them. I like to string them up into ristras and hang them in the kitchen, or a front door ornament.

And speaking of peppers, I found this beautiful produce on a recent visit to Montreal at the fabulous Marche Jean-Talon.

A visitor stops to rest on one of the zinnias.

Monday, October 4, 2010

This Might Be Brilliant...

Because I grow mostly annuals in my garden I end up with a lot of bare dirt during the winter months. So I came up with a plan that might help alleviate this problem and increase my fruit production at the same time.

I have a patch of strawberries in the backyard, in less than perfect soil. This patch has also been neglected and not thinned out. I planted 13 plants 2 years ago and there are hundreds now. It has been prolific, but the berries were smaller this year.

So, as I removed withering tomato plants and many pounds of rotting or slug infested tomatoes from the raised beds, I hatched the idea to move strawberry plants into their place. This will give the strawberry plants a fresh start in good soil with plenty of room to clone themselves. And it will cover the dirt during the wet and cold. I will also plant some cover crop or spinach or lettuce in between the strawberries.

When I need space for the summer plants again I can just remove enough strawberry plants to make a space. This will hopefully keep me on top of the thinning. And next year I'll have a bumper crop of these delicious, fragrant, Rainier berries. I like the idea of a plant that provides food and also multiplies itself, like garlic, or Jerusalm Artichokes.