Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Garden

Another summer is over. Am I going to miss it? Not really. Sweating through triple digit days plus intense smog are never my idea of a good time. You couldn't even stand in the shade without breaking a sweat.

It seems our garden didn't really have a chance. Between the hot weather and my lack of attention/selfish desire to stay in cooler weather, the garden suffered a horrible death. All because of me. I intended well and next year, I will be better armed to fight for them.

My wanting to stay at home largely depends on how much food we can grow and preserve. This didn't happen this year, but the upside to it, I did some research and found what should work better and best for next year's garden.

Although now that the triple digit days are officially over, the cooler weather has brought me outside once again. I absolutely love it! There are a couple plants still doing producing, but once I get the weeds and other objects (weeds) under control, I can finally plant my winter garden. It's primarily lettuce and green leaves, but with us eating salad most nights with and sometimes for dinner, it's a huge money saver. Yes, I can buy salad for $3 for 6 organic romaine hearts at Sam's, but really, what's the harm in growing my own?

Our fruit trees have been much, much better since the weather has cooled down as well. They aren't producing yet, but I'm sure they will be bountiful in time -especially my dwarf lime tree. The pear tree came up all by itself with the trunk half rotted, so I think we're going to pull it out and plant a new one (if we don't move). We'll also pull up the olive tree that branched up as well since we're not sure its fruitless or not. Apparently there are a ton more fruitless olive trees than fruited trees.

I can get back to weeding the flower bed as well, too. I'll begin spraying the flower beds (since they are primarily rock and fruit trees) with vinegar. Vinegar kills 99% of plants- weeds or not. It will kill the seeds they spread while I pluck them out as well. So protect your wanted plants if you spray vinegar on them.

I've learned how to compost as well. Not quite as appetizing, but its a gardener's best friend. It's what creates that expensive top soil. Dog poop really should be picked up out of the yard since it has too much nitrogen in it even for grass. Livestock (chickens, cows, etc) manure is the way to go, however, it needs to be decomposed before being put in the garden. If it's not decomposed properly, it will burn the plants. Believe me, I tried putting chicken manure in my garden and the plant died within a day.

Back to the fall season. Cooler temperatures. I should say reasonable temperatures, have lulled me back outside to enjoy my garden and yard again. The house needs a lot of work and if we are going to get it ready to sell (fingers crossed), then we (not only myself) need to get a few projects done.

After doing my research, I found that zone 9 can actually grow a winter garden. How awesome is that? It makes me wonder how and when we move back to the Midwest how we will get to have a winter garden? I really want to avoid the greenhouse route, so any input would be great.

With gas prices rising above our expectations, food prices will of course be rising as well. Will you be able to handle the rising cost of living or will you be stuck like me, having no choice but to raise my own food?