Cleared, Cleaned and Prepared for Winter

winterready.jpgOur gardens are tucked in and ready for winter.

In the last two weeks, the plots have been harvested and cleared of plant debris. Organic compost has been added to improve the soil and the plots have been planted with a cover crop of annual rye.

The rain has helped and the rye is sprouting. This cover crop will improve our soil structure and provide erosion control during the windy months to come.  On the west side, the sunflower stalks were left standing to block the wind and provide a soil erosion control.

Even bare, the garden looks nice, tidy. Thank you to the Navy volunteers, our community gardeners and all the others who have come to help.

This season has been wonderful.

And, yes to those who have asked. I’m already thinking of next year and how our community gardens will continue to grow.

 

 

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Cucumber Question Answered

Gardeners have asked about yellowing cucumbers.

There are some varieties that are yellow skinned not green. For example,  Chinese Yellow Cucumber or the heirloom Lemon cucumber. We are not talking about those.

We’re talking about when a green skinned cucumber turns yellow. Most often, this can be attributed to a cucumber that has become over ripe.

Yellowing can also be the result of a nutrient imbalance or virus.

How can you figure out what is up with your plant?

If  your plant looks healthy, but the cucumbers are turning yellow, first suspect the most common problem, which is over ripening. A cucumber that is a little bit yellow is all right to eat but the more yellow it is, the more bitter it is and not fit for consumption.  You can tell a cucumber is ready to pick when it is firm, green, crisp and generally about 6 inches in length.

If the entire plant doesn’t look healthy suspect a nutrient deficiency.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed some of our vegetables needed fertilization and recommended using Plant-tone (organic).

If the application of fertilizer didn’t alleviate cucumber yellowing, please let me know. There are viruses that cause yellowing of cucumbers and leaves. Generally it is pretty obvious that something is seriously wrong. If you’re not sure, get in touch. We can figure it out together.

 

After the Rain

The gardens after the today’s rain are a satisfying place to be.

They are filled to the brim with beauty.

Every plant has bathe in the moisture and are the better for it. We gardeners water but rain has a special magic.

The tiny sunflowers on the west side have poked their little plump leaves up through the soil. They germinated in only six days and now the rows of half-inch tall plants hold the promise of cheerful, yellow blooms on tall stalks later in the season.

Walking about, the zucchinis are flourishing and the Swiss chard, kale and lettuce are ready to be harvested. Basil looks like it enjoyed the rain and the frilly tops of tiny carrot seedlings carpet certain beds.

Many plants are showing their fruits and colorful combinations.  More promises of good things to come.

Tomorrow, I will be working in the garden.

I hope to see you there, Natalie