Sunday, October 3, 2010

End of the Summer Season

The end of the summer season has been pretty good to us. We did a lot better this year with our tomatoes, radishes, eggplants and peppers. Radishes seem to be the one thing, other than herbs, that we do well with all year round. But, we had some challenges as we learned about growing bush beans, shelling beans and squash. The lessons we learned we will definitely be applying in the spring. We are still waiting to see if our winter squash plants will yield anything or not. Yes, I sowed the seeds late but our cooler-than-average summer weather has been a bigger issue than my lack of appropriate planning. 
We were more vigilant with our figs this year, so we actually were able to harvest some before the squirrels got to them. Sure, six figs isn't exactly a lot, but considering we got zero last year, this is a triumph of sorts. A couple of them even ended up in one of our batches of fig jam.
As we head into fall and winter planting, we have a new foe in the garden... raccoons. Until now, they have ignored the garden. But this year, they have been digging up not only parts of our perennial beds but also our vegetable beds as well. It's the vegetable beds that I'm most concerned about since these little gangsters. The first thing will be to eliminate the grubs and then I need to tackle the raccoons. I am hoping that beneficial nematodes will take care of the grubs and that a healthy dose of a hot pepper spray on the soil and on the plants will deter the raccoons. I don't want to resort to pesticides or poisons. We garden organically and humanely for a reason.

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