And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Monday, October 04, 2010

Raspberries and Putting the Garden to Bed

I spent some time in the garden at the folks' place today. I pulled the last of the carrots, found a squash we had missed earlier in the season, and did some major cleanup. The best part of the day, though, was realising that a good portion of our free raspberry canes are fall producers. Those things were loaded down with berries, and (miraculously) the birds had left them alone! Little Sprout stood at the edge of the berry patch, shoving the red little morsels into her mouth as fast as she could with both hands.

When I got home, I spent some time cleaning up the veggie patch here. I am not done (either place) with the fall cleanup, but I did make some significant progress. I keep telling myself (like all gardeners, every year) that next year will be the year that I have the perfect garden. It will be weed free, I will succession plant (no easy task in MN), I will take care of all the produce in a timely manner and not have to buy veggies all summer. I will make salsa. I will can, and freeze, and dehydrate. My family will eat home-grown, organic veggies all year.

Funny thing is, my Dad has more years in at this gardening thing than I do, and he still falls for it, too. Aren't we silly? We talked about what we are wanting to plant, about how we are going to manage the garden chores, about the plans we have for trellises and harvests. I showed him the charts I made for crop rotation, and the tentative plan for next year. He approves.

Yeah, silly us.

Anyway, I am hoping to get out into the yard again early tomorrow. I want to finish the veggie beds, mix in the compost, and get started on cleaning up the flower beds. If I am lucky, soon I will be able to get the daylilies out of the front beds (nasty MN ditch lilies) and replace them with my irises. Oh, and I have tulips, crocus and daffys to plant, too. Not to mention that I have to get the lawn mowed and the leaves mulched and in the compost bin.... but not before I get the finished stuff out and in the veggie beds. I would also like to get a few areas of the yard that Mr. Barefoot is allowing me to turn into flower beds at least partially prepped for spring.

I am not hoping for a lot, or anything. Ya know?


Kelle said...

In clean up mode ourselves( here in MT) and I did giggle a bit when you said the plans for the nest summer's garden, because this is exactly what I say and think to myself every year. This year was easier because of our greenhouse( I mean with multi planting), it's a blessing indeed. Maybe you should look into building one for your Minnesota climate, to extend it?

Our raspberries have about driven me nuts, I hate to waste anything so every other day now for a couple of months we've been picking them. We've sold some, share some, eaten alot and probably have over 5 gallons in the freezer! Yesterday the neighbor took pity on us and he picked them for himself*wink*

Blessing for the remainder of your week,

barefoot gardener said...

Kelle - I would LOVE to have a little greenhouse, but between the bitsy little yard I have and the even smaller gardening budget... *sigh*

Some day, some year, it will happen. For now, I am looking into just doing clear plastic covers over the garden beds (I do 4x8 raised beds). I figure I could get a couple weeks more out of the beginning and end of the season that way.... 'course, that will only work if I actually DO it! ;D

Kelle said...

Okay here's a thought, how about making a coldframe cover for your raised beds? I used coldframes for years, early Spring and again into late Fall/ early Winter.

They don't have to be expensive, ours were as simple as old hay or straw bales and old glass storm windows. You put the bales around three sides( the one long side and the two short sides, so the glass windows will be facing South. Then you simply lay the glass on the bales and slant to the ground. On warm days you simply prop open the windows enough to keep the temp at about 80-85F. When it was cold enough to freeze( winter coldframes, planted with cold weather crops) I'd lay a couple of old quilts/ heavy blankets over the windows in the late afternoon to hold in the days heat. You can also set water jugs painted black and filled with water in to have a time released heat. Give it a try, it's a learning experience but I know you'll like it :o)

barefoot gardener said...

Kelle - I keep swearing I am going to do that. I have plans and ideas for about 15 different versions of a cold frame sitting around the house in various places... I just never get around to it! I think I am nervous that I will cook my plants by forgetting them when I am tired.

Still, fabulous idea. This coming year just might be the year that it happens... ;D