This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Monday, November 10, 2014

today's garden work

Today I spent about 3 hours at my community plot and was happy to get to ALL SET (! YEAH!!) for the impending season - not to be named...


- Planted 76 cloves of garlic, then mulched it with old salt marsh hay that was on my garden paths for the summer
- Cut down asparagus ferns and laid them on the patch for mulch, weeded the patch and added salt hay mulch
- Piled trash (3 old chairs, rotted edging wood from my 6 yr old raised beds that have reached their age limit) to the corner of the garden for disposal next spring
- Cut down 4 enormous (!) dead tomato vines, raspberry vines, and giant sunflowers and raked
- Stomped down my compost bin and then piled up a BIG pile of garden debris that didn't fit in the bin (The more compost material the better! I compost everything the plot produces. I am happy to have SO much this year. I think more than usual.)
- Raked flat 7 garden beds, scattered winter rye seed, and hand raked it in

Late: Yes, I am very late this year in planting garlic and winter rye seed. This is my rational: I planted as soon as I could. There are lots of other things I did on time this fall,... these I did not. Garlic, I have planted at all different timings though the past 8 or so years and find most of the results depend on the quality of the bulbs going in and the soil and garden conditions. I do not think the late garlic planting will affect my garlic quality next year.

The winter rye, I have less experience with. But, here's my thought. I planted on Nov 10, the start of the Persephone Period in the Boston area. Light is less than 10 hours per day now and nothing grows now. We don't have enough light for plants to grow anymore. OK. But roots grow now. The garlic will be rooting. I have found that rye will sprout and begin to root during warm periods in the winter and then will take off in the spring. Even a little growth can help hold the soil structure in heavy spring rains. Depending on the weather we get, my 30 minutes of work and $3 of seed may be helpful. Or, maybe not.


Anonymous Janice in NY said...

I read that you should plant garlic after the first full moon, after the first frost. I did that last year and again this year. Mine were on the small side, but delicious.

November 11, 2014 7:01 AM

Blogger kathy said...

I think it's better to plant garlic a bit before the last frost. I think best is 2-3 weeks before the ave first frost. oct 1 for Boston area. You want to get some sprouting, but not so much that the greens will be damaged by the winter. My best garlic bulbs have had about 2 inches of sprouts in the fall that I cover with a thick layer of mulch. Remove the mulch in the spring.

I spread a nice layer of chopped leaves on my parents garlic yesterday. It has maybe 1 inch of sprouts showing. I was pleased to be able to use a mulch source from their yard. They certainly have plenty of leaves!!!

November 16, 2014 7:22 PM

Blogger bjames2066 said...

Hello, just found your blog, thanks for sharing.
Have you found companion planting to be noticeably beneficial? did you find that book recommendations were accurate?

November 18, 2014 12:17 PM

Blogger kathy said...

HI Brent. Some companions are very helpful. I especially like adding small flowers anywhere (dill, coriander, etc) to attract small wasps that are predators of garden pests. I will try to write a post on companions and my experience soon.

November 19, 2014 2:17 PM

Anonymous edible gardens--point loma said...

I've found Barbara Pleasant's article on Companion Planting at Mother Earth News useful. Her recommendations are well-researched and evidence-based. Companion planting charts abound but often are based on bad science and metaphysics as she suggests. Here's the link:

November 23, 2014 3:29 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Thanks, I'll check into that one. It sounds good.

There are many different reasons for combining specific plants. I put pansies in with my onions this year. It was in one of those charts. I can't imagine it helped the onions, but they looked pretty and don't grow tall enough to shade the onions. Onions are a pretty plain looking crop, so I thought it was nice. I have to stop letting the dill grw in my onion bed, as they do shade the onions and make the bulbs smaller.

November 23, 2014 5:19 PM


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