Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fall is here, but the last remnants of summer are hanging on. Flowers still bloom at the Greenways trails, but not for long because there is a definite bite in the air this week. I love this season! Night temperatures are becoming quite cool, 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit. I look forward to the falling leaves and I'm ready to fill the porch with pumpkins.

Last week I ordered garlic from Johnny's Selected Seeds. I ordered my usual hardneck variety, German Extra Hardy OG, but this year I decided to try a new variety, as well. Ajo Rojo is a softneck garlic originally from Spain and brought to the new world by the conquistadors. The outer skin is white, but the cloves are a beautiful red.
I should receive the garlic around mid-October and will probably plant the cloves around Halloween, or whenever my school schedule allows. I'm already excited about next summers harvest!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The summer garden is over, but there is still plenty of life in the garden. The roses are happily blooming now that the dreaded Japanese beetles are long gone. The crepe myrtles are still blooming, and the parsley is a beautiful, huge green mound, ready to eat.

There was a heavy mist going on when I took these pictures yesterday. It felt wonderful. Although officially it is still a few days away, the scent of autumn is already in the air. I love it! I'm ready for pumpkins and scarecrows and leaves blowing in the wind. I will miss the flowers, though, and especially the fresh tomatoes.

These are the Texas Bluebonnets that I planted in June. I became fascinated by the raindrops puddled in the center of the leaves. They did not bloom this year; hopefully they will come back next year.

It misted rain most of the day yesterday, except for when it flat out poured down (known around here as a "toad-strangler"). It was a nice day to stay in with a cup of hot tea and a good mystery.

Most of the vegetable garden has been put to bed for the winter. We pulled up all the tomato plants today, along with the two remaining squash plants. We were still getting a few squash every couple of days, but they were tough and a little bitter. It was time for them to go. We still have a couple of red long bean plants and I planted a patch of Swiss Chard a couple of weeks ago which has started sprouting.

We pulled up one patch of zinnias, but there are many more to go. They looked good for a long time, but that time is over, I'm afraid. I need to order garlic this week. I usually plant it around Halloween. I already have a couple of packs of hyacinths and grape hyacinths that I will plant at the same time. I would still like to get a couple of rose plants in the ground before winter. Since school has started, it has been hard to find time for the garden. Winter holiday is twelve weeks away, and believe me, I am counting down every single day! It will be time for a long nap and a chance to plan my spring garden. That's what cold winter days are for, right?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Now that the tomato plants are almost dead they have begun to produce heavily. The rabbit must have had its fill and has stopped eating them, so now we have plenty to eat. Too bad the plants are almost finished for the year. This evening I will be pulling up what is left of the squash and cucumber plants. It's time to clean up and give the beds a rest for the winter. Soon I will be ordering garlic, which I usually plant around Halloween; it will be ready to harvest early next summer. I'm also going to plant a small section of Swiss Chard, which will hopefully be ready to harvest before the first hard freeze. The red long beans should be ready soon, so we will have a colorful fall season in the garden.