Eviction Notice

Yesterday afternoon, right before a holiday weekend, I sent eviction notices to some tenants. I  physically kicked some tenants out on their arse. I think of myself as an easy going landlord. I let freeloading weeds live in my garden all summer, never having to pay rent (aka feed me). Weeds are big partiers who tear up the place; evictions must occur. Although it is as painful for me as it is for them (sunburns and back pains), it must be done to make room for new tenants.
I am real excited about the new tenants. I am expecting some first class kale, yummy broccoli, and other fall crops to be moving in soon. I will keep you posted on any new developments.

Some of the unwanted visitors

Here is what you have missed the last few months:

I took on way too much responsibility mid-way through this year. Gardening and photography were put on hold.
With the exception of back pain this past week (and two missed runs), I am on track to be ready to finish and maybe beat my time for my second half-marathon in November.

Some jerk bird ate all the blueberries.

Bugs binged and purged on the brussel sprouts

 Grapes are rotting off the vine because we are slow to pick them. Backyard smells like a winery.

 I killed these carrots

Fig Party

 I just about killed my aunt’s favorite plant- the Okinawa Spinach. I am working on bringing it back to life.

Kale is King

Seeds are in for the fall.

Hello December

From Photo Challenge

Hello December. So far we haven’t had a major chill. The garden seems to be doing well. Tomatoes are very slow to ripen because the winter sun doesn’t warm the tomatoes enough during the day. Just this week we are finally seeing some tomato ripen action.

From Photo Challenge

Those tomatoes will be great on all the lettuce we still have growing. I need to start more seeds of this so I can continue the crop.

From Photo Challenge

One of the figs became ripe this week.

From Photo Challenge

The blueberry bushes are beginning to bloom for some early spring blueberries.

From Photo Challenge

Finally, as you see in the picture at the top, the muscadine grape is dormant for the winter. See you in the spring!

Fall Planting Time

We have figs…

From Photo Challenge

And muscadine grapes ….

From Photo Challenge

Getting the garden in shape
Today was the first day of the awesomeness that is called fall. Finally we got a break from the heat and I took this opportunity to get some gardening done.

First I cleared all the dead plants out of one of the square foot gardens to make room for young healthy plants. I kept one tomato plant and some borage (for companion planting).

From Photo Challenge

Next I added some peat moss and compost to the soil that already existed in the bed. I additionally threw in some Perlite I had sitting in the garage. Perlite helps aerate the soil.

From Photo Challenge

I planted half a dozen random tomato plants, a squash, and a watermelon (totally out of season – this is an experiment). In between the tomatoes, I planted random small plants in a survival of the fittest fashion. It will be interesting to see what survives the next few weeks. Eggplants, basil, and corn are in this group. Finally I staked the tomatoes to prepare for the growth.

From Photo Challenge


Here is what is leftover from my summer seedlings and purchases. I have them in what I now call the infirmary. They are sickly and need constant care. What survives out of this group will fill later holes in the garden and share the cool weather garden with the leafy greens.

From Photo Challenge

Impulsive Plant Buyer

I am an impulsive plant buyer. I buy plants before I have any idea what I am going to do with them. This muscadine grape was purchased at a big box store after pigging out on local grapes and I discovered that we can grow grapes here. I purchased this plant before I did any research on proper growing methods. It is now living on our porch. Below is a papaya and melon that we “won” at the last organic growers meeting. They too have been sitting on the porch. And finally, today I walked out of another big box store with a petite fig plant that was on sale. This was of course after I watched a gardening show that featured figs. They will live on the porch for at least another week or so but then I will be forced to do something with them. I would like to get them established somewhere before the cool weather sets in.

I have pulled up most of the old square ft garden. Two onions, about 3 carrots, and this homely looking tomato plant is all that is left of the group that started it all. I am keeping the tomato plant because there are two tomatoes just like this one hanging on. I keep hoping that they will ripen and I can say that I got a total of 5 tomatoes before the hornworms ate all of my summer crop. The garden is being simultaneously prepared for fall crops.
This burlap cloth is covering some beans that should start growing any day. In fact, at the time of this blog’s publishing, about 4 have emerged.
Good news is that the second square foot garden seems to be doing great. I had a slight hornworm scare last week but I have since sprayed the tomatoes and plan to continue to spray at regular intervals.

Inventory of the new garden:
2 Winter Squashes
1 Zucchini
4 Corn
? Onion/Chives (sort of just threw a bunch of seeds down)
1 Okinawa spinach (another “win”)
4 green peppers
2 eggplants
4 tomatoes

Garden Failure
I have been wanting to purchase huge barrel like planters for a while for things like peanuts and sweet potatoes. I finally broke down and purchased resin barrels from a big box store about a week or so ago. I took out the plug but ignored the instructions to put rocks at the bottom. I transplanted a very moist sweet potato plant and killed at least two baby potatoes in the process. After one big storm, the result is what looks like a big barrel of crapola. If I am lucky, this thing will dry out and the plant may be salvaged. Barrel number two will have rocks at the bottom to help with drainage.