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Monday, September 08, 2014

Dear Friend and Gardener: Late Veg Garden Update

Aster 'Alma Potschke', which has nothing to do with the veg garden
Dear Dee and Mary Ann,

I have been quite lax in providing updates for the Dear Friend and Gardening virtual garden club.

Let me catch you up on the vegetable garden.

I spent the better part of yesterday morning cleaning up weeds in the garden.  I pulled out nutsedge and foxtail and grubbed out prostrate spurge and purslane.

I made quite a mess of myself doing it. My arms were filthy with dirt and I had a smudge or two of mud across my forehead by the time I finished.  The weeding had to be done, though, and I was for the most part happy to have a cool, sunny morning to be out in the garden.

I'm not quite ready to pull out the vegetable crops, though some have stopped producing. The sweet corn stalks are dry and tan. I leave them so I can hear the rustle of the wind through the leaves.

The cucumber vines were snaking out beyond their bed, but I wrangled them all back into one bed. I am a bit embarrassed when I see the number of overgrown cucumbers I never got around to picking.  I really should just pull it all out before the squash bugs show up and declare my garden a wonderful place to mate, have little baby squash bugs and stay for the winter. No one wants that.

There are still some peppers to pick and some tomatoes, too.  Forget about the green beans. They look old and tough. I might, however, try to shell them out, dry them, and use them later this winter for soup.  We'll see. I make no promises.

I was out in the veg garden this evening looking around, admiring the results of my weeding yesterday, and got the big idea to remove the giant viburnums on the two corners of the garden.  The one viburnum, Viburnum lantana, hasn't looked all that good since the big drought a few years ago. It needs a lot of trimming back.  The other viburnum, Viburnum opulus 'Sterile', is a big old sentimental favorite, but earlier this summer it showed signs of fire blight. I cut back the diseased branches and am watching it closely.

Both shrubs do provide great cover for little birds. I've more than once walked out to the garden and startled dozens of them. They all fly out at once, making a lot of noise on their way, in spite of my assurances that I'll never harm them. I'm sure more than one rabbit has hidden under those shrubs as well.

If I got rid of those two shrubs, I would replace them with a pair of PawPaw trees, Asimina triloba. I've wanted to grow PawPaws for years. Maybe now is the time. Those big shrubs have been there for over 15 years and can't go on forever, right?

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Write when you can and let me know how your vegetable gardens have done this season.

Hortifully,
Carol

5 comments:

Rose said...

I had planned to do some clean-up in the vegetable garden myself this morning, but instead it's pouring down rain. I have pulled out the cucumbers and some of the squash,though, because it looks like mating season has already begun here for the squash bugs.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I should get out there and do some clean up too. Can't seem to get going tho. hmmmmm.Don't want squash bugs getting into the garden. Ok you talked me into it.

claudeflora said...

Still picking lots of tomatoes here, they came in very late. Raspberries beginning to ripen and I dont think it will stay warm enough for my peppers to turn red so I may pick them all green. Strange gardening season here in the northeast this year!

CommonWeeder said...

Wow. So much to do. My vegetable garden has been a nearly total loss this year. What does it mean when even the zucchini doesn't thrive. Onions and garlic galore, but not a lot of anything else. I guess I will have to concentrate on a good clean up and digging in of compost! On to next year.

CommonWeeder said...

Wow. So much to do. My vegetable garden has been a nearly total loss this year. What does it mean when even the zucchini doesn't thrive. Onions and garlic galore, but not a lot of anything else. I guess I will have to concentrate on a good clean up and digging in of compost! On to next year.