Wednesday, October 30, 2013

update on the fall cleanup

I decided--just as it was getting dark--to run out to the cornfield to get quick picture or two to show the progress on the fall cleanup in the cornfield.  The pictures are a little dark partly due to the late hour but also it is a dreary, drizzly, foggy day.  I have been working to finish harvesting the crops, remove the dead plant material, build raised rows where they didn't get built last spring and plant a cover crop.  It is likely too late to get consistent germination of the oats yet this fall but hopefully having them in place now when the weather warms up in the spring they will start to grow and the garden will still benefit.

In the top picture you can see most of the garden.  Where you can barely make out the small black fencepost along the left edge of the picture is where the last two rows of potatoes are waiting to be dug.  That is all that is left to be harvested from this garden. 

You can see the posts that I have been putting in the ground down the center of the garden.  These will serve multiple purposes.  I have placed them every five rows.  I will put house numbers on them so that I can have a little easier time telling which row is which.  I also will mount sprinklers on top of them with a hose that reaches to the edge of the garden.  I can then hook up my long hose without dragging it through the plants.  I also plant to string wire between some of the posts to make some support for raspberry plantings.

The couple orange areas near the bottom right of the photo is leaves that are placed between the rows in the permanent walkways.  Other places I have used grass clippings but at this point i am using what is available.  We have lots of leaves.   
In the bottom picture you can see two green rows and these are the oats that were planted a while back. They are about four inches tall and so far there are only four or five rows that got planted early enough to germinate.  these rows have the grass clippings between them.  At this point there are 25 rows that are completed.  That is counting the the potato rows as done and I am estimating that there is room for another eight or ten rows on the far west end that i hope to get finished before the snow flies.  Getting them done this fall will sure save time in the spring.  They should just require a quick turn over of the cover crop, a little compost mixed in and ready for plants. 

In the back of both pictures you can see the stalks from the sweet corn still standing.  I am still hopeful that those will be dug out yet this fall. 

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