Monday, April 27, 2015

Putting the Summer Garden to bed Part 1

The days are getting shorter and colder. Those plants that require warmth are on their way out. Most of the tomato plants have gone black and  have ceased to produce. They have to be pulled out and unwound from their bailer twines. When I attach them in Spring I just do a slip knot at both ends as this makes it much easier to undo in Autumn.
 The zucchinis are going soft and only those in a very sheltered spot will continue to produce fruit for another couple of weeks. This year the garden at Goongerah 300m elevation has had more frost damage than the one at 900m elevation. Some years the lower elevation garden has ripened tomatoes in June. Not this year.
The butternut squash vines are still green and growing but the round pumpkin varieties are ready to be lifted. This is definitely the most productive year for pumpkins - often it gets too dry for them to grow well.
With all the animals to feed and Hailey to milk at  Opportunity Farm we are not at our bush property often enough to water consistently. We try to leave the pump primed in hot spells so a helpful neighbour can set it going, but this is still not enough for a thirsty plant like pumpkin. This season's consistent rain has been a boon.
Once all the crops are removed and the beds weeded then Part 2 will be to apply manure and mulch and leave that to rot down till spring.

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