It is 10-10-10 Day – That Means Garden Cleanup

OK – it is 10-10-10 day (October 10, 2010) – but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is garden cleanup day.

But it was around my garden.  The Straight Eight cucumber plants all succumbed to powdery mildew.  Ever notice that when you are around a plant that has powdery mildew all over it – that there is an off-smell?  Wow – to me that is kind of scary – thinking all of those mildew spores are in the air surrounding the plant as the plants are pulled down and put on the compost pile.

After the cucumber plants were all removed, I took the green snow fence down.  I’m going to remember to NOT use this snow fencing for support next year.  The peas simply did not like it because their tendrils could not grasp around the large pieces of plastic.  The cucumbers did fine, however.

Back Garden Cleaned Up

Looks quite a bit different now.  The boards that were put down on the ground as a walk-way have also been removed.  There are still a few Greencrop green bean plants that came up as volunteers that are doing well.  All of the PVC watering pipe has been removed as well – except for the 3/4-inch pipe (on the left side) that is the main pipe leading from the rain barrels.

I did manage to get one more cucumber from one of the plants before pulling them down.  It doesn’t look nearly ripened up – so we’ll see how it tastes.

Straight Eight Cucumber

Just a 90-degree turn from where I took the picture of the back garden – is the garden by the house with the tomatoes.  We’ve been spared lately from a heavy frost.  Last week we had two nights where it got around 34 degrees; very close to freezing.  Now the past two days it has been back into the middle 80’s and this week will be in the high 60’s to low 70’s.  The tomatoes are still alive and doing well.  Look at all the green tomatoes!  Unfortunately because of the cool down, none have ripened up in the past week (or more).  We are still getting some cherry tomatoes, however.  I just hope that once all of these green tomatoes are harvested – that they will ripen up in the house so we can use them for something.

Tomatoes

The patio garden still looks the same.  The basil is still growing well.  i’m not too sure what to do with all of this basil actually – I already have three large herb containers filled with it.  Someone mentioned making pesto – which would be fine – but I just question when we would actually use it.

Patio Garden

Some buddies have popped up in the potato bin – more potatoes!  These potatoes have been growing for a few weeks now; I just don’t have the heart to pull them out.  There were quite a few very small potatoes that were in the bin when I harvested it; not nearly large enough to use for anything.  So now they are sprouting.

Kennebec Potato Volunteers

Right next to the bin is my radish experiment.  These plants are doing well from the seed I saved from the radish plant in the front garden.  The first batch had 17 of 24 radishes sprout – and the second batch had 18 of 24 sprout.  So that is about 73% germination of the saved seed.  Not too bad.

There is also the lone carrot still growing very well in the back of the photo.

Saved Radish Seed Sprouts

Moving to the front yard and taking a break for a moment from the garden.  The wife cut several small pieces of setum and planted them in the front landscaping.  One of them has pink flowers on the top.  Another setum that was the mother plant had larger flowers, but the flowers are more a very dark red/maroon color.

Setum Flower

Alright – now that we’re in the front yard, here is the full front garden.  Not much left in the garden except the peppers.  All of the green beans have been eaten down to the stalk by the deer.

Front Garden

There is also that HUGE marigold plant at the side of the bottom right of the photo.  Yes, that is only one marigold plant.  I’m not sure how it got into the flower bed – but it made it’s way there.

And now for the peppers.  I need to get some of these plucked off of the plants before long – but I am waiting for them to turn fully red.  There was something getting to these peppers earlier in the year where there was a big spot on the peppers that was squishy and a creamish-brown color.  It happened on all of the peppers just before they began turning red.  But now, they do not have that problem – because it is cooler maybe?

But you can see just how many peppers there are on the plants.  I bet there is more on the plants right now than what we’ve harvested all year.  With the weather getting cooler from those 90+ degree days (had over 24 of them this year compared to only four last year), the peppers seem more content and are still putting on flowers.

California Wonder Peppers

And lastly – to revisit how the REAL grape juice wine is coming along.

This week I moved the wine into another gallon glass jug so I could get all of the sediment removed from the wine.

Real Grape Juice Wine

Looks much cleaner now with nothing on the bottom!  Of course though, you can see it is maybe 3/4 a gallon of wine after it was all removed.  Unfortunately this leaves the wine open to a lot of oxygen in the top of the bottle – even though I have the airlock on it.

When moving the wine to the second container, I was not impressed with the smell of it.  Smelled pretty bad I thought.  I took a sip of the wine and it tasted just like it smelled.  While it is hard for me to relay the flavor, it seems very watery – and just doesn’t taste very good.  It even has a bit of a vinegar-like flavor to it – which usually means that other bacteria took over and caused that.  The whole issue I believe is that I messed up with making the wine to begin with.  The grapes used were not wine grapes.  Wine grapes have a lot more sugar in them than regular table grapes – which is what was used.  I did not add any sugar to the wine when I began fermentation – for the fact I wanted it to be “pure” real grape juice wine.  Well because of that, there isn’t much of any alcohol content to it (again, I messed up since I didn’t check the specific gravity with a hydrometer to begin with to check the potential alcohol).

So I’m not too sure what to do with the “wine”.  There are a number of factors that are different with this real grape juice wine versus the fruit concentrate I buy at the store.  This also is a white wine and not a red wine – which is what we have made in the past – so there may be issues with the amount of tannin in the wine and there also may be an issue with the pH – or the acidity of the wine.

Real Grape Juice Wine

Well it is getting near the end of the year around the garden – so I’m not too sure how many other posts there will be this year.  Most likely will be one more at the minimum after I’ve pulled everything out of the ground.

2 thoughts on “It is 10-10-10 Day – That Means Garden Cleanup

  1. Thanks for giving me some ideas just by looking at your garden. I had to move to town after my husband died and I no longer have the quarter acre garden. Ihave made a strip garden but it didn,t do well. I had problems with earwigs and slugs. The cabage didn’t head and for the first time gr. beans didn’t produce enough to make a mess. Any suggestions for this transplanted country woman?

  2. Living in a small lot is hard. I’ve had to make use of any space I have that gets at least eight hours of sunlight a day. Between making beds in the front yard, on the driveway, and behind the garage, it is a costly project but I hope the investment pays off in produce!

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