Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fall Garden Prep - 10/5/13

Fall is here!

I haven't been able to go up to the house for a couple of weeks because of work and I couldn't get there until Saturday morning so it was a shorter time than I would have liked. The weather has really turned cooler and you can feel it in the mornings especially. With the change in temps it is time to plant the garlic for the winter. I tore out all the plants that were still in the yard from the summer because they will not do anything now.. especially since they have been eaten by the wildlife. Also I mowed the yard in the front the last time I was there and spread more wildflower seeds that will hopefully will bloom in the spring.
Here is the front yard prior to mowing it, and let me tell you this isn't a quick job like your suburban lawns. This takes at least an hour with my big string trimmer and man do I have bruises afterwards so it is only done twice a year. Talk about a commercial for Aleve the next day as well.
Before mowing...

After mowing everything down and of course the turkeys show up!
In the front yard is a lavender plant that is very popular with butterflies and bees. There isn't a lot of flowering plants left at the end of the summer so anything that has pollen is swarmed.

One of the many butterflies on my lavender plant

Another task that I have been putting off was to prune one of my grapefruit trees. It has gotten really tall and was actually touching the oak tree branches above it. I put it off because if you have never had citrus trees you have no idea that they have long, sharp thorns. When you trim them they fight back and yes I was scraped and bleeding. You can see below where I was almost done and only had this last, central branch to cut off. I had to use the long pole saw and I was working on it for 20 mins trying to get through the wood.

Last branch is taunting me!
But someone how I got the saw stuck in the cut that I had been working on and it wouldn't come out. I finally gave up because I was so frustrated and went inside to watch baseball. I got it out the next day by using another long handled tool and pulling the branch down. It finally gave way and now it looks better.

This saw is stuck!

My 4 basil plants are still going strong so I cut a bunch of it and gave it away to a couple of friends.  
Basil coming out of my ears!
 I also got out and cleared out the raised beds and planted some garlic and carrot seeds..
Poor tomatoes never stood a chance... 

Garlic is in and hopefully it will grow as well as last time.
I am going to try and sell the garlic in the spring if it produces as well as last year.. I am sure the folks who got it for free this year will not appreciate it but hey, it is organically grown and hand-delivered!

Julie