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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Vegetable Garden Cathedral Update

Get into the garden
Come with me into the Vegetable Garden Cathedral for an update at the end of the growing season.   

If you are new or visiting this garden for the first time, you may wonder at the name of it.  I call this the Vegetable Garden Cathedral because last year I arranged the rows as one might arrange rows of pews in a church, with a center aisle.  Plus, I often go to church on Saturday night, leaving Sunday morning for me to tend the vegetable garden without interruption.


Earlier this spring, I had a crew come out to clear out the garden and create new raised beds using pavers from a local building supply and hardware store.

The Vegetable Garden Cathedral
There are six beds approximately four feet wide and 20 feet long, plus another narrow bed way down at the end by the compost bins, which are cleverly hidden behind a short bamboo fence purchased from Gardener's Supply.  This is my third fence. They don't last forever, especially if you, oops, leave them out all winter in the snow, ice, sleet, and rain.

I am more than pleased with how these beds worked out and I have some more plans for this garden

In the narrow bed way down at the end by the compost bins I plan to plant three dwarf apple trees. I ordered them a month or so ago and they'll be shipped so that I can plant them when dormant in a few weeks.  I also hope to someday plant the entire fence bed, which is a long narrow bed about 18 inches wide that runs along the side of the garden, with Clematis vines. At one time I thought I would buy a zillion old metal trellises for them to grow on, but that's not likely to happen, so I think I'll just figure out how to string some wires between the fence posts for the Clematis to climb on. 

In the rest of the garden, all the main crops are finished  and I've pulled nearly everything out except for the tomato stakes and a little stand of Tabasco peppers. I'll remove them today.

Those strawberries in the lower right corner of the picture above are still producing as are some raspberries.  I think it is because we had that brutal summer followed by a lovely fall. They are confused or making up for lost time. (One never knows sometimes which it is with plants.)

In several of the beds, I've sown some cover crops.
Winter rye cover crop
The winter rye is up and growing. I can leave it until spring, then cut it back and fork it into the soil as a green manure crop.  I also sowed some cover crop mixes, with mixed results, mostly because I sowed them a bit late.  One other cover crop, buckwheat, has me quite perplexed. I swear I sowed it, saw it come up, but now I can't find it anywhere. I'm going to spend time this morning in the cathedral trying to figure out what happened. Did the rabbits eat it all?

I can see plainly that the rabbits have eaten a lot of the spinach that came up a few weeks ago from a late sowing.  I sowed seeds for spinach, radishes, and lettuce just to see how they would do.

Late sowing of lettuce
The lettuce was a mixture of all the leftover lettuce seeds I had.  It's coming up nicely and so far the rabbits have ignored it in favor of the spinach.  I think today I'll fashion some stakes along the edges of this bed and use a row cover to protect the what's left of the spinach and the lettuce and see if I can keep the lettuce going long enough for a nice Christmas salad.

After that, I will do some weeding in the garden - thistle never quits. Then that will be the end of this season in the Vegetable Garden Cathedral.

Overall, considering the drought and all, I am pleased with how the garden turned out this year.  I am always happy to have a nice ending to the growing season, to know that my garden is tidy and resting and ready for me to sow peas in March.

Plus, with my Vegetable Garden Cathedral house in order, I feel like I can face anything in my garden.  


6 comments:

Cindy, MCOK said...

Carol, you might visit a farm & ranch store, like Tractor Supply, and look at their cattle panels. Those might work for your Clematis vines.


Leslie said...

I like the way you put the strawberries in a sort of in-bed tower. I wonder if those bricks are helping keep that soil warm ?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Such a pleasant place to keep the Sabbath. Your new beds look so neat and tidy. I will look forward to seeing how your clematis row comes along.

Marie said...

You might want to be careful. My vegetable garden is now mainly a clematis garden!
http://gardenbugworld.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/yes-indeed-the-clematis-bug-lives-here/
You can see the clematis arbor in the center of the vegetable garden here:
http://gardenbugworld.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/oh-what-a-beautiful-work-day/


Marie said...

Oh my, I forgot more!
http://gardenbugworld.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/july-clematis-at-the-farm/

Also the small ones:
http://gardenbugworld.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/clematis-the-little-ones/

There are always more. It is a disease!

Marian S said...

Do you know about Brushwood Nursery in Athens, Georgia? They have the most delectable (mail order) clematis. Can't wait to see the fence in full glory!