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A Little Slice of Sunshine

October 24, 2007

On Sunday the weather starting turning gorgeous. We had golden sun streaming through the falling leaves and blue, blue skies gracing us with dry weather.

I spent some time in my garden winterizing some of the rows and planting garlic, sweet peas and lettuce. I’ve heard the sweet peas will grow in the fall, so I’m going to give it a shot. I’m also going to attempt lettuce at this time of year, which I’ve never done before. When I planted my lettuce and cucumbers in the spring I put a wire “box” over the lettuce with the intent of growing the cucumbers over the box and shading the lettuce so they wouldn’t bolt in the heat of the summer. That didn’t actually work very well, but as I was pulling things out of the garden the other day, I went to pull the box out and had a brilliant flash that this could serve as a frame for holding clear plastic and creating a tiny greenhouse to grow lettuce in the colder months. Hopefully this will work better than my cucumber shade idea!

This year as I have been utilizing the weedless gardening method I have started taking stock of the items around me and how to use it for covering my beds and garden paths. We have some large maples in our neighbor’s yard that borders ours and lets loose a weeks’ long cascade of leaves every year. In previous years, I have felt real annoyance at all the work that these leaves made for us, having to rake them to the street multiple times for the city leaf pick up. This year though, I have seen them in a new light, similar to my new found appreciation for our grass clippings. It is free organic matter to cover my garden beds! I mowed the lawn for the first time in months on Monday and our mulching lawn mower just mowed up the leaves too and created this beautiful, free row covering. I must have gotten a cubic yard or more of material. I still need a lot more to cover all of my rows, but already the grass is mostly covered with leaves, so I can get quite a bit more tomorrow if I head out with my mower again. I’m contemplating sneaking across the street to the tennis courts and bagging some of those leaves at night so the neighbors don’t think I’m too wacky, but that would probably be too over the top.

Also recycled into my garden is all the cardboard that I could find. This makes superb path covering if you don’t mind the look. Weeds can’t get through the thickness of cardboard. I will also spread pine needles from our trees onto the paths for the areas that we didn’t have enough cardboard for and also to cover part of the cardboard for partly for aesthetic reasons, but also because it makes a darn good path mulch.

To sustain me after my hard work in the garden I needed these delicious peanut butter brownies. Okay…actually I made them for mom’s game night, but gardening sustenance made a much better segue. The recipe for these yummy yum yums are from Smitten Kitchen but I came across them by way of Magpie Eats.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Angelina permalink
    October 25, 2007 1:27 pm

    You are my hard working inspiration! My garden is still covered in six foot weeds and all my dying summer vegetable plants. I really need to get out there to clean up.

    Philip did cover a few of the beds with the chicken run cleanup which is a nice combination of: straw, vegetable scraps and rinds, chicken poop.

    I’m going to try lettuce too but I haven’t got any plans for a covering yet which is stupid because I know that frost is coming soon. I will think on the possibilities.

  2. Lisa permalink
    October 26, 2007 12:18 am

    I still have plenty of dying plants in mine, too.

    You are so lucky to have chicken poop!

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