garden beginnings and endings

We’re almost through the second week of November and my garden is showing it. It looks terrible, I know.

While I still have lettuce, spinach, parsley (this is one hardy herb) and carrots (not sure if they will mature in time) – the rest of the garden is in that sad state of needing to be cleaned-up.

Fallen leaves have taken over, strong and deep rooted weeds have infiltrated the area where the pumpkins once were…

Well, the pumpkins that made it through the attack of these little buggers;

Does anyone know what they are? And if so, how to keep them away, without chemicals?

I love my rustic backyard garden – its’ chicken wire fence, its’ aged front gate, the posts in need of repair, the yard it is surrounded by, the sound of the ocean in the background… It’s far from perfect, but it’s my garden. I can feed myself, my family and my friends with it – nothing is more beautiful than that.

I’ve expanded it over the years, it’s nearly four times it’s original size. If I had know we were going to be living on this property for as long as we have, I think I would have designed it differently, wider. But, it is what it is, and when everything is in full bloom, its’ simply charming.

A lot of planning, work and love needs to go into a backyard garden. The planting of seeds, months in advance,

transplanting baby seedlings.

transplanting the plants again,

and then finally moving each into the garden.

Organizing the layout of the garden, keeping in mind what was planted where the year before and which plants should be planted next to each other in the coming year. Companion planting is brilliant. It not only helps to minimize pests and maximize complimentary plant attributes,  but it is also cost effective and natural.

Late winter I begin preparing the soil; adding amendments, turning the soil with pitchfork, picking and cleaning the soil and then leveling with rake…

I then cover my entire garden with black plastic. I hate the fact that its plastic, but at least they are recycled lumber tarps…I get them for free, from our local small town lumber yard. I started using them a few years ago to help minimize weed growth and help to warm the soil. I need help dealing with the mosquitos (once the mosquitos are out, it’s no longer pleasurable to work in the garden) – I cover myself as much as possible and use citronella oil on my hands…and try to ignore the insane buzzing!

Minimizing my weeding time is beneficial to my sanity, plus, the sooner I can get seeds in the ground, the better. Once the ground and air temperatures are ready for more planting, I cut openings for each row of seeds or individual plants, mark with a stick (writing name of plant and date of planting), water and wait.

…then as the days and nights warm and one season blends into the next,  I continue adding more seeds and more plants,

until everything is planted and then enjoy the benefits…

until the seasons begin to change and the weather begins to turn cold…then the cycle begins again…

So until the garden looks like this again, I will continue to enjoy what’s left and look forward to what’s to come…

What’s your favorite vegetable to plant? What do you love about gardening?


10 thoughts on “garden beginnings and endings

  1. Other than hand picking them off the plants I don’t know any organic solution. The CSA I joined lost almost all their winter squash to the bugs. I’m sure there must be some suggestions online.

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