A little veggie garden love

I've been planning on working on my fall veggie garden for a few weeks now. I started some plants in trays a month or more ago, and they've been ready to bite into some soil for a while -- my other projects have been getting in the way though.


This past weekend when I bought a load of compost and manure for the new front planting beds, I got enough for the veggie beds too -- no more delays! As is evident in the above photo (and the next few) I've been neglecting this for a while.


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The first issue is the dogbane that is growing next to the gate. Beside the fact that it's huge, it's covered in loads of bean-like seed pods:


I've already got too many seedlings from this plant in the area, so these have to go:


A quick chop down to below veggie garden fence height and problem solved. No more seed pods to worry about, and this won't be shading the veggie beds from the precious afternoon sun any longer.

This is what the two larger beds look like right now:


Weeds, tired plants (sunflower, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes), more weeds.

As always there are some remnants of the summer veggies lingering. A few small tomatoes:


Some beets:


A couple of kale plants:


Most of those got pulled out. This smaller bed though:


Overhung by fennel stalks and overgrown with cypress vine, it looks like a mess. Remove the fennel and vines though, and I think it's worth keeping its inhabitants around for a while:


The swiss chard is still going strong, and the basil plants that took at least two months to germinate are in perfect condition right now. I'm going to leave these in for a few more weeks at least.

I decided to keep the few kale plants too, as they should revitalize with a bit of fertilizer and will probably overwinter, providing lots of new leaves in the spring.

A few inches of compost/manure mixture got spread over the rest of the boxes:


Then it got turned in. Even though I put loads of this organic matter in back in the spring, the soil in the larger box was still quite heavy. If I remember correctly it contains the most "native" soil, while the other beds used mainly topsoil I brought in. How many years does it take to loosen up heavy clay soil?


I didn't have quite enough compost/manure to finish this whole bed right now, but still there's plenty of room for planting.

So the seedlings finally went in -- more kale and some cilantro (coriander):


The larger bed got seeds: spinach, some lettuce, beets, more swiss chard, tatsoi. I didn't bother watering anything because it was essentially dark at this point, but more importantly rain was in the forecast.

I should probably pull all of the vines off of the fence, as this area of my yard doesn't get enough sunlight late in the year -- until the tree leaves fall -- and I want these veggies to get as much light as possible. It looks so pretty though!


I'll pay attention on the next sunny day we get and see if I need to clear the fence. For now though the rain makes that a task I can put off without guilt.

I'm so glad to have the fall veggies finally in!

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Lancashire rose  – (September 26, 2012 at 10:14 AM)  

Do you live in a warm part of Missouri? If there is one. I never had any winter vegs in my Chesterfield garden. In fact I remember one winter it was covered with a thick blanket of snow and ice. I'm amazed. You work jolly hard in that garden with great results.

Steve Lau  – (September 26, 2012 at 2:59 PM)  

It looks like it is almost garlic time eh.

Barbie  – (September 27, 2012 at 7:24 AM)  

Wow - behind all that you have some amazing veggies - love the swiss chard and basil. Two of my favourites:-)

Alan @ It's not work, It's gardening!  – (September 27, 2012 at 7:35 AM)  

L Rose: I live only a few miles from where you did, so saying "winter" veggies is wrong. It's really "fall" veggies, but I plan to install a row cover over one of these beds so I may be able to get some of these to grow all winter long -- especially if winter is as mild as it was last year!

Steve: yep, garlic going in mid to late October.

Barbie: the swiss chard was new for me this year and surprised me at its ability to handle the heat and infrequent waterings. This will be in my garden every year from now on! (Kale though is still my favorite edible plant.)

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