Sunday, September 18, 2011

No More Shame

The time to start a fall vegetable garden here has long passed.  For two months, I've been talking about starting mine.  Talking, but not doing.

Why?  Well, I just hated to face it.  Bermuda grass has invaded the beds.  (We have coastal, which is a tall grass good for grazing or hay - and VERY invasive!)  In an effort to help control this, I put down plastic around the raised beds.  (Thanks for helping, Andrew!)  But that has done nothing but hold water and given the mosquitos a place to breed.  It's ridiculous to have mosquitos and a drought at the same time!

Eventually I want to put a brick paver pathway around the raised beds, hopefully controlling the water runoff and the grass at the same time.  Not sure if that's a plan, or just a hope.  But that's a project I've not begun. So I've postponed tending to the fall garden.

But that all changed yesterday.  Yesterday Mr. Holleygarden shamed me into doing something about the fall garden.  He finished planting his garden.  And I could not be outdone!  So, out in the heat I went.

The rooster stands watch over the vegetable garden.

First I pulled up all the old plants (and most of the bermuda that was in the bed).  Then added compost.  Planted the tomato plants I picked up at the garden center (heirlooms!).  And put seeds into the soil.  Finished with a good watering with the sprinkler.

Ta-da!  Finished!  Shame is gone.  It has been replaced by hope.

You can see the plastic.  How ugly!

Except, of course, there's still the bermuda grass to deal with.  And the hardscape to lay.

It seems a gardener's work is never done!


  1. I'm amazed that tomatoes are a fall crop for you. Doesn't it get too cool?

    I got fall crops in too recently: greens (spinach, lettuces and some Chinese greens). I've seen some sprouting too. I want to plant garlic but its early for that.

  2. I can't believe you can plant tomatoes now. Good luck with them.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  3. I have to say I would like to repeat the question the previous two commenters asked: are tomatoes a fall crop for you? Lucky you! My tomatoes are almost done... I wish you luck eradicating bermuda grass, I can't seem to be able to do it.

  4. Good for you! I hope you enjoy your fall crops and get a good yield. I've got garlic coming soon for my first attempt at a winter garden. Wish me luck!

  5. Marcia - I probably should have planted the tomatoes a bit earlier, but yes, they are a fall crop here (it gets too hot in the summer). These plants were bought a month ago - they have blooms on them now. Our first frost is around the middle of November, but last year it was a lot later than that. I guess part of it just comes down to luck.

    Cher - Thanks! I've never planted tomatoes in the fall, but I've heard that the fall yields are generally better than spring's since it gets so hot so fast here.

    Masha - My tomatoes went dormant for most of the summer, although the plants still lived. I could have just kept them, and they would have started making again, but I decided to start fresh. I was tired of looking at the old ones! As for the bermuda grass, yes, it's an ongoing battle.

    Jenni - I'm hoping some of the things that never make for me in the spring (broccoli, cauliflower) will do well in the fall, and I'm looking forward to more fresh lettuce. I hope you do well with your garlic!

  6. Wow, what a great accomplishment! I have great hopes every weekend to get outside. Maybe next weekend - hopefully. We can't grow tomatoes in summer either.

  7. Sherry - Thank you for backing me up on the tomatoes! I was beginning to doubt myself, even though I know fall is the best time here for them. I do hope I haven't planted too late, but since I've had the plants for a month now, I think they'll do fine. I hope you get outside next weekend! I've got to start spending all my time outside! Lots of chores to do!

  8. A good sized planting bed, hope your plants do well!

  9. That looks like a lot of work for a hot day! (Or any day.) Can you grow greens and such yet, or is it still too hot for those? I've about given up on tomatoes and squash and the other summer "fruit" plants--by the time it's cooled down enough for them to set on, the garden doesn't get enough sun for them to ripen before frost.

    I hope your weather turns pleasant soon so that you can enjoy even your chores outside!

  10. I see hope in your garden. It's inspiring. Going to create more hope in mine.

  11. You do have a large planting area. Good luck with your crops. Tomatoes here are still going strong, yet we had a slight frost. It does seem strange to grow them in fall, but too hot of summer would not be so great for them. Mine ripened too fast in the heat and tasted lousy. Now the weather is better for them and taste improved. Just hope it lasts without another frost.

  12. I know what you mean, I have been talking of growing vegetables for years, difference is I never did do anything about it. As for being too hot in Summer to grow tomatoes, they wont grow outdoors here because it doesn't get hot enough. Good luck with your Autumn planting.

  13. Good job Holley! I like your raised bed! And you're right - in the garden, there is always work to do. : )

  14. Wow, I'm, impressed! I never would have thought of tomatoes as a fall crop either, but given that they really don't care for extreme heat, it makes perfect sense! Enjoy those tomatoes! I think you'll find, as we did, that getting the first stuff done was the hardest. After that, it was really easy. Have fun!

  15. Kelli - Thanks. I hope they do, too! This summer was very disappointing, I'm hoping my fall garden will do much better!

    Stacy - Well, this will be my first fall garden, so we will see how my tomatoes do. I did plant greens, yes. I'm anxious to have some fresh lettuce!

    One - Yes, there is hope there. As gardeners, I think that's all we have!

    GWGT - It seems funny that you are already having frost. We are just now getting under 100 degrees during the day! Tomatoes are not as easy to grow as people first think, are they?

    Alistair - It's funny how different the climate can be throughout the world. You grow so many beautiful plants, I would think you could be a great vegetable gardener, if you wanted to be.

    charlie b - Always! One reason I love it so. Of course, that's also the reason I get so far behind!

    Cathy and Steve - I think you're right. It's just getting started sometimes that's the hardest of all.

  16. Good for you getting those seeds in the ground. It's never too late to get to work on those projects is it? Now I'm feeling some shame for projects put off!

  17. Marguerite - I'm so glad I finally got around to it! Don't feel bad - I have lots and lots of projects I haven't started on yet!


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