Clean out your Garden!

 My little gardener helped me harvest the last of the vegetables!  Its been fun to see how excited he gets about helping in the garden and next year is going to be even more fun.  We are thinking of either dedicating a portion of a raised bed for him to plant or adding one small bed in the center of the garden for him to dig around in.
5 Eggplant, Green Beans and Tomatoes
This is the time of year when I get slightly bummed out about having to dig out all the plants and the last of the flowers.  Its time and everything is ready to be pulled up, but I always wish things could stay warmer just a bit longer! 

You may be asking.....why do you have to clean out the beds?  Can't you just leave everything to decompose until spring?  Well you could do that but that may also cause pests, weeds and diseases to overwinter in your beds and then when the temperature warms up in the spring you have problems to deal with!

There isn't anything difficult about cleaning out the beds you just need to find the time to get it done.  I prefer to clean them out before it gets uncomfortably cool outside.  One thing to remember is this: don't compost plant material or flowers if the plant has had any type of disease or infestation.  (You don't want any diseases or problems when you spread your compost on your beds in the spring!)  Its best to have a clean start to the year. Instead put that plant material in a brown yard bag and take it to your curb for the trash to pick up. 
The last of the blooming Zinnias

This year because of the size of the garden it took me a couple of days (about 2 hours each day) to completely clean up the garden.  Here are the before and after pictures below. 
DAY 1 of Clean Up
DAY 2 of Clean Up (Oct 12th)
DAY 3 of Clean Up (Oct 16th)
 I didn't have the heart to pull up 2 of the Summer Squash plants (pictured above in BED #3) that are still producing!  I will take care of those in the next couple of weeks. 
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
We also learned that this year we have had an infestation of "Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs" around our area.  I started seeing them earlier this year and they have continued to show up both outside and inside our house!

I discovered that it is native to China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.   It appears they were first seen in Pennsylvania in 1998.   The big question is what damage can they do to your garden?   They attack the following fruit: Apples, Blackberries, Citrus Fruits, Figs, Mulberries, Peaches and Persimmons.  They have also been seen on Beans, Lima Beans, Corn, Green Peppers, Tomatoes, Soybeans, and Ornamental Plant.  This is one bug I will have to watch out for next year. 
Little man and his "Pun-kin"
Next week I will post updates on how the garden compared to last year!  Also stay around for composting tips, planning for next year, and new recipes!

Now its onto the important things like family Pumpkin carving time.  Maybe next year we will try growing some Pumpkins in our garden!

The finished product!

No comments:

Post a Comment