Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Garden Distractions

Today I fully intended to finish removing the old asparagus stalks from the garden for the winter. They need to be removed for two reasons: the first is that the old stalks can harbor insects and diseases, the second is that they look terrible.

When I was about halfway through, though, I called my Mom to tell her what I was doing, because she has asparagus, too. That's when I looked up and saw the Casper White eggplant.

I thought we had eaten the last eggplant for the season last week, but it seems I was mistaken! There will be little bit more. When I glanced over at the Ukraine Beauty right next to it, I saw one more tiny eggplant there, too.

I can't imaging that this will have a chance to get much larger before cold weather kills the plant, but I hadn't expected to see this little fruit at all.

Since the broccoli is in the garden bed just across from the eggplants, I turned around to check on them, too. A lot of years I have less that wonderful luck with the broccoli, but I got another surprise.

Every plant has the beginnings of a head of broccoli nestled down in the leaves! I know very well the pitfalls of "counting chickens before they hatch," especially when it comes to gardening, but this looks very promising.

After all these great discoveries, I had to make a quick tour of the garden. This is a tough time of year for gardens. In spite of the patches of green from the cool weather crops, there are lots of bare spaces and brown (or browning) leaves dripping off of scraggly old stems, so that the visual rewards aren't all immediate.

The little tour showed, though, that insects are still finding sources of nectar in the flowers that remain. This bachelor's buttons plant had a couple of visitors, in spite of the cool, damp weather.

And the nasturtiums really just hit their peak a couple of weeks ago. We've had some rain in the last couple of days (1.3 inches!), so older flowers are a bit battered, but the more newly opened blossoms look great!

When I got this far, though, a wave of much darker clouds moved in; it had been drizzling for a while, but that didn't bother me. I'm not related to the Wicked Witch of the West, so I work outside even when it is wet - I'm not going to melt - but the thunder started and that was the end of being outside.

My next chance to work on the asparagus bed, if it doesn't come later today, will be Friday. Maybe I will finish then . . .


  1. My broccoli is doing the same! I'm a bit worried about the cabbage worms though!

  2. I've been using Bt this year (brand name 'Thuricide'), and it seems to work! The cabbage worms haven't been able to do much damage. When the little guys hatch, they start eating, and the Bt does them in. This means that my plants do have some little holes, but they are mostly intact.

    It's the first year for me to use this stuff, and I was skeptical when I bought it, but now I may be a convert.

    After the rain stops in a day or two, I will spray my plants one more time, but the cool weather will put an end to the problem soon.

  3. Oh yes...the BT works fantastic, and you'll easily thwart any cabbage worm damage

  4. EG,

    Yes! So many "solutions" to garden problems only half-work, or create more problems than they solve, but the Bt has really worked for me this year.

    Since I still have a lot left in the container, I will probably try it on other plants (zucchini!) next year, to see how well it works in other situations.

  5. Okay, I don't have anything intelligent to add to this:) But, I sure wish you could tell me what to do with squash seeds that I bought and then saved...

  6. Hi Kim! If you plan to use them next year, put them in a container in the fridge for next year. Some people use jars; I use plastic "airtight, watertight" boxes. One is a (very old) Click-Clack box, and two are newer Lock&Lock boxes (from Walmart).

    My friends Jack & Becky put their seeds in ziplock freezer bags and store them in the freezer, and that works, too. The good news is that you have some options, depending on the space (and supplies) available.

    Hope your beautiful boys are doing well, and that you all are enjoying the fall weather!



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