Most of the garden is ready for fall and winter (finally!). You'd think that by now I would know exactly what it's going to take to get that all done, but I'm still a little surprised that there is so much work in clearing away the summer and making the start on fall and winter.
I cut down the buckwheat cover crop that has been growing in the top half of the beet and spinach bed to let it wilt down before turning it under, and I've planted a mixed cover crop of winter rye and Austrian winter peas in a couple of beds. Before those cover crops could go in, there was a general clearing-away of summer crops, then I brought compost out from the backyard compost pile, spread that on the beds, mixed it into the top few inches of soil, leveled the beds, then broadcast the seeds and "pounced" them in with a rake. The bed where the garlic and shallots will go in a couple of weeks has also been made ready.
Over the past ten-or-so days, I also replanted seeds for some of the lettuces, carrots, beets, spinach, and radishes, because the sweet potato bed isn't the only one that has been chipmunked. The rascally rodents have been having way too much fun in my garden this year; somehow, they've gotten the impression that it's their own little party place.
My neighbor across the creek has two outdoor cats, and I had thought that, between them, Lily and Johnny would have put a big dent in the chipmunk population, but they don't seem to have been keeping up with the rate of reproduction. We don't have as many hawks as usual, and that may be part of the problem. I think the crows (another nuisance) have been chasing them away. Next year, I may have to work at thinning some vegetation (daylilies, azaleas, and more) that has served as protective cover for the little, striped "party animals."
Things have been busy at work. Last week, on Thursday, I was the guest on the Master Gardener Hour on America's Web Radio. The show is scheduled to be posted on the 19th of October. On Friday, I talked about "Moving Toward Organics in the Vegetable Garden" for the Master Gardener Lunch & Learn series. Have I mentioned lately that I love my job?
Hope all the other gardens out there are just about ready for fall and winter!