Monday, October 5, 2009

Volunteers, The Circle of Life, and Tomatoes

The season's winding down, but there's room and time for a few more surprises. The planter which normally houses petunias was filled with onions this year, because those little green worms that chew up 'tunias had infested the soil. The onions were great -- nothing like having salad ingredients just outside the door! After they were devoured, I left the planter empty to further frustrate bugs and worms -- but Nature doesn't tolerate fertile space going unoccupied, so seeds from last year's flowers sprouted and even bloomed. A piece of onion re-grew and is trying to get as big as his daddy was.
The mums have been side-by-side for years and are now comfortably doing their own thing: they were originally one color per pot, and are now merging and showing up in each other's domains. Is it seeding or cross-pollination? A botanist would know, but I just enjoy the show.
The garden at Zach's was supposed to have an Act II, that is, Fall crops, but has fallen victim to fungus and mildew; I don't know if it was the mild, wet summer, or that the yard is over 100 years old and probably harbors every pest in the Northern Hemisphere. I didn't get the soil mix right (ran out of time before we had to get something started) in the first place, and there weren't enough nutrients. JM and Pat added quite a load of chicken manure to their box garden in Camp Hill, and it went nuts. Next Spring, bird droppings and the compost we're making in the new bin will go in, and even more tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and other salad goodies will make this now forlorn box a Cornucopia (or so we hope)!
The greatest successes were the less ambitious undertakings. The lone Early Girl tomato plant we grow in a large pot every year on the deck graced us with cute, red and round tomatoes until just last night. The exhausted plant will go into the compost bin and live again next year, in a way. Out front, a basil plant has rocketed up toward the sky and despite almost daily picking, just keeps on and on. It will be a shame to see the frost end its vigorous youth, but I hope to pluck it just before and hang it out to dry in the garage. Winter, bah. We're all just hung out to dry until the explosion of another growing season...

1 comment:

  1. We tore our box down over the weekend. Left the peppers though. There are still small peppers on a few. We can hope for Indian Summer, however we think the weather will get them. But alas, the CSA keeps us in veggies till Bird Day!