The October Garden
The weeds took advantage of the warm weather and my absence last week to really get some growing in. I’m pulling each weed by hand, shaking off the dirt (trying not to get showered with it in my eye), and composting them. The greens when layered with brown material (dead clippings, etc.) will cook nicely for use next year. I have a tall wire cage set up in one of the raised beds I haven’t filled yet, so the compost will be made right where it will be used.
Meanwhile the garden grows. Melon vines are dying, but the squash continues on!
With permaculture the idea is to mimic a forest dynamic, with lots of plants helping each other grow by providing elements other plants lack, such as nitrogen, mulch, shade, flowers to attract pollinators, etc. You can fit a lot of plants into a small area.
The orange tree above is receiving too much irrigation water due to its placement on sloping land and the nearness of water-loving plants. Planning beds with compatible plants providing adequate initial nutrition and water can result in happy masses of plants.
The pond, now six months old, looks as if it has been on the property for years.
The melon vines and pumpkins have not only protected the land from the scorching summer sun, but will provide good compost and certainly are decorative as well as sources of food. I always wanted to wait for the Great Pumpkin!
Sages, mints and butterfly bushes continue to flower, providing much needed pollen sources for bees in this season of dearth.
Meanwhile in the vegetable garden many crops have had their day and I’m composting them as I get to them. Some such as the eggplant are still going strong. (See my steamed eggplant recipe! Yum!) .
A garden as large as this can be overwhelming, especially in its first year. I’m trying to think in sections. I enjoy working the garden, making it mine and seeing the surprises that show up. My back and hands aren’t as happy, especially the morning after, but… too bad! “Get over it, guys!” I say, then realize I’m talking to my body parts. Alone in my garden, only the plants really care, and they aren’t looking. Or are they?