A tour of my fall garden
I knew that I was being a bit too optimistic thinking I could keep my hands off new projects at the start of the summer. Here are a few pictures of my fall garden and everything I managed to do this season.
It's finally time for a little update on my garden after the busy summer season! I took so many pictures this summer, but I have had so many things on my mind with my writing and the kids being on summer break, so I haven't been able to post even a fraction of them. Not even on Instagram. I'm so used to sharing everything from my garden so it feels strange to be less active on social media. But it will all come together in a book later of course, at least for my Swedish-speaking audience.
This season has been a bit strange, to say the least. I have had plenty to do of course, but the season itself has surprised me too. Or, I suppose that every season brings a few surprises here and there, but I have been less prepared for them this year. I haven't been able to adopt a mentality of accepting do-overs, which is something I'm normally used to.
I need to mention that I had decided not to start any new projects in the garden this summer. Despite that, I still managed to fix a new pallet collar bed, a new section in my garden, a secret project I'm going to write more about later, as well as some work on a communal gardening project here in my village. It's a lot! Following your heart always pays off though.
In general, my garden is producing more vegetables than ever. One thing that I decided to think about for next season is to get plenty of greens to enjoy in early spring. These vegetables lift me up! This year, I was a bit late with some things, but it also seems like the entire season was pushed forward.
Pre-grow when cold outside
Some of the plants in my garden got a great start, pre-grown inside, but then started suffering because of the cold temperatures outside. The amazing cup-and-saucer vines that usually bloom in July just developed buds. I had to wait until August to start harvesting my tomatoes. The bell peppers in the beds outside froze in May and then produced plenty of white fruit that just won't turn red. The cabbage heads have taken a really long time to close up and the snap beans just got ready a few weeks ago.
I think that most of you might be able to relate to the frustration of wanting to get better results and do more, but I try to remember to enjoy what's working too. One thing I especially like to think about is my soil. I have really great soil quality here in my garden. I almost can't believe how well my plants grow here! Of course, I get disappointed that some of my vegetables won't grow, but at least I know that it has nothing to do with my soil. Instead, my at times disappointing results depend so much more on my own (sometimes lackluster) efforts and the fact that we had such a cold spring this year.
New irrigation system
One thing I did differently this year, was to update the irrigation system. I installed a new system in the polytunnel, got three solar-powered pumps and a drip hose in the kitchen garden. This was a really great step for me! I honestly don't know how I would have been able to manage without the new system. The two solar-powered pumps have done an excellent job watering more than half the tunnel without me having to lift a finger. The biggest win was that none of the plants in there have started to suffer from lack of water. They have had a continuous supply of water and I even think that this might be one of the more successful seasons in my polytunnel in that regard. I actually feel a bit annoyed that I didn't go for this project already last year.
I could have watered a lot more in my beds outside though, instead, I decided to mulch with wool in several spots. It's my first summer doing this and as a result, I need to work on the process. I realize that the cabbage patch got a little too wet and some of the cabbages were affected by mold. We probably could have provided the bell peppers in the driest section of my garden with a bit more water too. My wool mulch helps keep a lot of water in the soil of course, but I still think that a lot of the water evaporates in that spot.
A great thing about fall is that I get plenty of grass clippings from my neighbors. I'm going to put the grass clippings on top of the wool and I think that the wool will break down more easily when it's wet.
I know that I should focus on the here and now in my fall garden, but it's hard to not let my thoughts wander to next year and everything I want to do later. In a way, it's good! At least I won't work myself to death at the moment. I have been getting quite good at prioritizing my tasks in the garden, and I know what works and doesn't.
Right now, I'm dreaming about doing the following:
- Removing the old plants. I'm just worried because the beds get so empty when I do. Therefore, I'm not looking forward to it.
- Removing the gourds in the polytunnel and preparing new spots for my winter projects.
- Sowing radish, lettuce, perennials, and Asian leaves.
- Adding a layer of wood chips and finishing the new space by the parking lot (plus, make plans for a new greenhouse there.)
- Remaking the cabbage section, mulch a lot in the beds and pathways instead of just mulching individual beds.
- Removing all of the old plants in the pallet collar beds, burying bokashi and sowing winter/spring vegetables.
So many projects in my fall garden!
The perfect playground
The last thing my kids ask me when I get them into bed at night is what we will do tomorrow. Last night, I told them that I wanted to be outside and work in the garden. My kids seemed to think it was a good idea. I don't really know what I'm going to do yet though, I basically just want to let my inspiration guide me.
I'm planning on making lamb mince patties for dinner, with roasted potatoes and tzatziki sauce. My husband Philip is working late tonight so it's just me and the kids. They had a great summer this year and built lots of fun projects in the garden. For example a little outhouse, a dam and a little "mine".
I'm going to publish a few more videos on Youtube this week. I have been sitting still and writing a lot lately, and now I can't wait to film and edit a few videos. It's going to be so much fun!
If you want to see more of me on Youtube, just click on the link below. I don't always publish all of my videos here on the blog, so it might be a good idea to subscribe to my Youtube channel if you want to know more. There are a few new videos on my channel right now, for example about my blackberries and my newest pallet collar bed.