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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fall flowers, a fall garden, a bug, and a drought

DSCN6393 David knows that I love mums and surprised me with a few the other day.  Hopefully, I’ll get them into the ground this weekend.

I’ve neglected to talk much about the outside of the little white house here lately.  For one thing, school has started so I’m just not outside as much.  But also, we are suffering a drought right now and it has taken its toll on our gardens. 

DSCN6411 fall planting of green beans

Over the past few months, I can only remember it raining one time.  It may have rained more but when you are in a drought you tend to notice things like rain.  The news said the other day that we were at a 14 inch deficit of rain right now.  Needless to say, there is not much growing and we haven’t even cut grass in over 5 weeks.  We are usually cutting grass right now. 

DSCN6417 more green beans and collard greens

So I’m afraid that the pictures of my garden are going to be a little less than inspiring right now.  I guess that’s the way it is with a drought.  The grass is ugly right now.  Most of it is dead.  Even the dirt is just ugly.  We’re really going to have to pep the soil up for the spring.  I’ve got a friend who has offered horse manure and I’ve got compost cooking.  I’m even looking into cover crops for the winter to see if that will help.  But we could really use some rain. 

Despite the drought, there are some things growing in our garden. 

DSCN6423 I love bell peppers but got them into the ground late.  Only a few plants survived the drought and we are finally getting bell peppers.  Can’t wait for enough for stuffed peppers. 

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Some compost that I used earlier in the year gave us an abundance of watermelon plants.  We actually had four little watermelons and we didn’t get to enjoy even one because of this little pest:

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This picture is actually from earlier in the year but these bugs have ravaged my garden this year.  I tried many organic methods to eliminate them.  (They actually ate all of my sunflower seeds that I leave for the birds.)  I will probably not have an organic garden next year.  I have a friend who lives in the city across the river who is a gardener too.  (Oh, I wish I could show your her garden.  It is beautiful!)  She tries to garden organically but had to use pesticides this year.  I may be going that route too because an awful lot of work went into the garden for very little output due to bugs. 

Of course, I read this and this not too long ago and if this is the same bug, then I guess it won’t matter what I do. 

But wait!

I know so far I have been all doom and gloom but there have been some bright points in our garden.

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The wildflowers have been one of the best things that we planted this year.  We bought a large bag of wildflower seed and planted about one-half of it.  It gave us an abundance of beautiful flowers that are visited daily by butterflies and hummingbirds.  Many of the flowers reseeded themselves and we have new flowers blooming now.  It’s like a bright spot of happiness in our drought stricken backyard. 

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We have had large amounts of dragonflies this year.  I don’t even know what purpose they serve.  I really need to learn more about them.  But I sure do enjoy them buzzing around me as I work.

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Radishes are growing and need to be thinned but I have the hardest time doing that! 

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I must have left a potato in the ground when I harvested earlier.  I found out that here in the deep south, you can actually replant a fall crop of potatoes too!  We didn’t plant any more but we left this one in the ground because we just couldn’t pull it up. 

DSCN6341 Some late planted tomatoes

{Some plans for the future}

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We hope to move the grapes and make a grape trellis and arbor.  We’re also hoping to transplant the brambleberries to a new area too.

DSCN6368 I’d like to make this part of the yard a little fruit tree orchard.  You see above what the drought has done to our grass. 

Hopefully, we’ll get a little rain soon and I’ll be able to show you a much more lush fall garden. 

 

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