Sunday, October 29, 2006

Weekend Gardening Chores

Spring forward.. toward rebirth; Fall back toward death and renewal.

We turned our clocks back last night, taking another step toward the season of darkness, death and renewal. I hate Standard time.

However, Saturday was a perfect autumn day in the Bay area. Sunny and dry with a off-shore breeze (yes that means fire danger). Temperatures in the upper 70s. I spent some time trying to force myself to do fall gardening, but for me that usually requires 60 degrees, brisk air and a crispness to the step. Not shorts and sandals.

Still the rains will come soon enough and then it will be difficult to get much work done. So I do a little at a time.

Another foundation bed is going to be replanted. It came planted with the house, with mounds of silver fescue and nandia among the camillias and azaleas. The camillias died a few years ago when something ate the roots. A large fern has replaced them.

This past week I dug up the nandina and the fescue (throwing it all down our natural "compost heap": the hilly land on the back of our property. It will rot and build the soil over the winter. I will plant another azalea to compliment the others in the bed.

In front of that? I'm considering. I love daylillies and Asiatic lillies and may plant several of these to add some summer interest. OR... some different fairly low-growing plant. We'll see what they have to offer at Adachi's.

Back in the veggie garden the tomatoes are still going. Each plant has a number of green/white/reddish fruits. However, more are being pitched as bad every time I go out to pick them. They are bruising, rotting and sunburned. So I've decided to start removing the plants once a week. That gives me options for the next month as to do with my tomatoes.

I planted a number of varieties this year: my old standby Celebrity, an improved Early Girl, a Better Boy and a San Francisco Fog. The latter is bred to produce fruit with the cool nights we have here. And I must admit: it has been hands-down the most productive of the plants I've grown this year. Next year, I may only plant 2-3 plants and make them all SF fog.

My fall cabbage plants are coming along nicely, but the early batch of beets didn't germinate. I may start the next batch of beet seed inside, then plant them out before a forecasted rain.

So how's your fall gardening (clean up, soil prep, fall planting) going?

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

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