"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress and keep it". Genesis 2:15

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pumpkins! Busy Time

Hurrah! We finally have some pumpkins! After taking over an entire half of the garden for the whole summer the pumpkins have finally started producing. It seems like one day there were no pumpkins, then over night we had four between the size of soccer and basket balls! They are a deep dark green right now. I predict pumpkin pies and muffins in our future!

We worked very hard over the weekend. Now is the time to plant seeds of beets, carrots, lettuces, mustards, radishes, rutabaga, spinach, kale, leeks, and peas. A few fast growing herbs can also be planted such as parsley, dill, cilantro and basil. Wildflower seeds and certain perennials - foxglove, lupines, daisies, poppies, delphinium, coreopsis, dianthus, grasses, eupatorium and veronica - can all be planted now. Planting chart.

We have very little room, so we can't plant everything we would like. On Saturday we did plant carrots, a French lettuce mixture, and some mustard. We sunk a few more sub-irrigators into the ground beforehand for watering. After all that, Anna and I sprayed the soil in various hot spots with predatory nematodes to kill the larvae of various pests such as spider mites, flea beetles, and cucumber beetles. The nematodes were mixed in water and sprayed with a pump sprayer by me, then Anna came along behind me and watered with a watering can to make sure the nematodes went down into the soil. That pretty much wore Anna out, toting can after can of water. (Every night during family devotions we have been praying that God would "bless our nematodes"!)

While this was all going on Claire was working on a project to renovate a path that involved scraping back all the mulch and laying cardboard down on the ground, to block the grass that is growing up in the path, then reapplying mulch. It is a hard job.  Garry has been renovating our back picket-fence. This meant digging and reseting leaning posts, replacing some pickets, and scraping all the paint. Garry was scraping paint all morning while the girls and I worked in the garden.

We also harvested some okra, yellow squash, butternut squash and our first acorn squashes, and a large bowl of lima beans. We had the lima beans that night (they were so tender and delicious), and the steamed acorn squash, and we took a great ratatouille to church on Sunday.

I was pretty ambitious that day and wanted to get started on a project for the front flower bed, the one directly in front of the front porch. This bed gets so much shade that not much will grow there. I wanted to take out what was not doing well, and divide and spread out the stuff that was doing well, which is basically just cast iron plant, then I wanted to transplant some liriope from another bed to edge the front of this bed. Both cast iron plant and liriope are evergreen and would look good all winter. The back of the bed up against the porch railings would be bare until we can afford some low-growing evergreen bushes, but from the street the cast iron plant gives the illusion of a full bed.

Well I got as far as moving a few things that needed more sun to a different bed, and raking back the mulch, then I was pooped and had to stop. On Monday morning I did divide one large cast iron plant clump and spread it out in the middle of the bed. When I was teaching my flute lessons in the afternoon I kept wondering why my back hurt so much!

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