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Well, I finally did it. I pulled out my tomatoes. It is bittersweet. Whenever you rip out those summer veggies, you are saying goodbye to that season.
Before: End of the season 2013 Tomatoes
After: A couple of hours of taking out tomato plants and cages
While this year wasn’t particularly fabulous because of the massive amount of rain <I swore I would never complain about rain, but this summer was tough….a colleague had a great description of the last couple of years of NC weather: “From Drought to Drench”>, I am grateful for the vegetables I did harvest.
The seasons are changing and that means you need to change your veggies too. I call it the Great Fall Veggie Transformation — it sounds so epic, but really so simple.
Here are the 5 Steps to Transform your Summer Vegetable Garden into a Fall One:
1)Remove your summer vegetables – take your tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, eggplant and others out. I usually put this out for the city to pick up, so I don’t contaminate my compost pile.
2)Shop and pick out your fall veggies. I love fall because it makes me think of greens, autumn squash, and other grand root vegetables. I choose lots of kale, cabbage, swiss chard and threw in a few lettuces for fun. I am going to try to do broccoli and butternut squash – though I haven’t had luck in the past. But it’s a new season.
3)Collect your good planting soil, Osmocote fertilizer and a trowel and you are ready to plant. BTW-I usually do my major fertilizing in the spring, but of course your little seedlings need to eat. The slow release Osmocote does the trick– look for the pink top.
4) Plant your little plugs according to the package. I usually do it at least 6 inches apart so they have room to grow. Throw in a sprinkle of Osmocote, the plant plug and cover with good soil.
5) Water. That’s the final step. Remember transferring plants can be extremely stressful, so almost over-watering is best to help relieve the stress. Just think after you do strenuous exercise how water can be so healing.
Now, just keep up with the rainfall, watering when needed and watch it grow.
That’s it! 5 steps to the Great Fall Veggie Transformation.
Go on…get out there and get dirty!
I think I know what it must feel like to be a millionaire. Not because I became one from some fat inheritance or selling my latest Start up…no, no….that is NOT the case.
It’s my tomatoes!
I got my second harvest and my first BIG one. I had to re-stake them and ask for a hand because so of them are now close to 8 feet tall. And all the little green, promising fruit makes my eyes twinkle.
I honestly felt so rich today. Abundance doesn’t have to be defined by cash or the value of your retirement portfolio. No, no…you can feel wealthy from the most humble of things…like tomatoes.
Now, I know what it feels like to be a millionaire. To have so much and be so thankful….and share.
Anyone want to come over for a tomato snack?
Just call me loaded
First let me start by saying this was one of the best birthday presents I have ever received. My friend and co-blog writer Chris, gave me time to help me in my garden. These days I value time more than I have ever in my life.
Plus spring is a busy season for us dirt diggers. Here is what we did with that time in the garden. Two gardeners are always better than one.
Check out the before and after pictures: Incredible.
Here is the to do list:
- We started with one bed at a time. We weeded, added fertilizer and cut back all the perennials.
- Then we assessed if plants were happy in their spots. We moved 4 shrubs into new homes. WARNING: be careful how many you move in the spring. You must water them religiously during the summer.
- We moved pots and furniture around. Chris has vision…I haven’t developed mine yet.
- We stopped, had some wine and celebrated our accomplishments. We scheduled next session.
- We planted the shrubs and trees I got from various plant sales and swaps- another 5 in total.
- We added soil conditioner and mushroom compost to my soil…it was a little dense. Good tip to remember.
- We planted my fruit bushes – blueberries and blackberries.
- We turned the rest of the veggie bed to prep for tomatoes and other summer goodies.
AFTERNOON 3: …which was a bonus and not really part of my present
Chris showed up with her wonder-man husband Bill to help limb up some trees to offer more sunshine. It is a amazing what one can do with a bow saw, tree pruners and a ladder. NOTE…I held the ladder – it was a very important job!
WOW…it was transformative. Thanks Chris. Thanks Bill. Best gift ever…
You should find a pal and help each other in each garden. It’s more fun and you get soooooo much more done.
I must admit, I have been totally uninspired to garden or to blog about gardening, despite some gloriously beautiful weather this winter season. I finally figured out why. There were no flowers in my garden.
Co-blog partner Christine Ramsey, always said that it is much easier to have a beautiful garden in the spring, but to have a beautiful garden in the winter…now that is a feat.
She is totally right.
Here are 5 lessons I have learned about inspiration and winter gardening.
- Don’t put you best winter flowers out of sight. That’s right. These Hellebores have been blooming since the first of January, but they are on the side of my house I never go. You can’t see them from a window inside, but they are beautiful. Note to self and others…move these in a place you can see every day.
- Early daffodils can do wonders to your garden mood. As soon as these February Golds bloomed, I was instantly inspired to get back in the garden. Even if it was to only weed…it made me want to be out there.
- Blooming winter shrubs with fresh fragrance can transport you to memories of spring. This Wintersweet in the front of my house, is not only beautiful, but when I go to the mail box I smell the sweet aroma and instantly get excited of the blooming season to come.
- Plant more evergreens. That’s right…often evergreens don’t have showy blossoms, but they will make all the difference when your deciduous plants have died back in your garden. I definitely need to plant more evergreens to provide needed structure to my garden, but also to keep it from looking so barren.
- Don’t skip the annuals. I made a conscience choice this season to skip the annuals. I was way too busy and just decided I didn’t have it in me to plant them. Bad mistake. Because I don’t have some of those lovely pansies by my mailbox or in some of my beds, I miss the winter flowering treat they provide.
Take it from me. It is important to plan for a winter garden to keep your inspiration mojo pumped. Review these 5 lessons and take pictures now of your garden, so you can prepare your game plan for the spring planting seasons.
Fall is the best time for planting In the South —
Check out the back of her mini van after our latest shopping trip.
Our purchases may look a little beat up now, but no worries. We’ll plant, mulch, and cut these plants back in the next few weeks. Next spring and summer–lots of new flowers will grace our gardens. What a deal!
Were do you find your best plant bargains?