Sunday, September 25, 2011

Views of and from the Compost Piles

Between being tired after work, shorter days, and having grandsons on Saturdays, I have been having trouble getting much gardening done lately.  It was a very nice day today, and I got to spend lots of time gardening.  The main thing I was glad to get done was to spread most of the finished compost around the vegetable garden, and turning the unfinished part.  I decided to dig some of the sweet potatoes in order to get the compost away from the fence, because we need to put a different fence there to keep the bottom of the neighbors' fence from buckling into their yard.  Also, I need to make room for the next batch of leaves.

Look at all those roots!  If the season went on forever, would all of them turn into potatoes?

Here's the crop I got from 2 plants.  I wish I could remember what kind these are.  I'm thinking they were supposed to be a smaller growing plant, but these plants were larger than the ones in pots.

It hasn't been the best year for the vegetable garden.  Actually, the spring crops did well, but the summer brought lots of heat, and the insects devoured my bush bean plants.  I was very tickled when I discovered the pole beans growing on the twig fence in front of the compost pile were producing.  We have had 3 meals with them so far.  They seem to be slowing down, now that the temps are getting cooler.  It looks like a disease may be starting.

Earlier, when I was standing on the compost pile in order to reach the compost next to it, I looked over at the garden, and decided I should take some photos from there, 3 or 4 feet above the ground.

This was the second season for the asparagus.  It seems to be doing OK.  There are 3 roma tomato plants right next to the bean plants.  There are some kale plants on the right, with volunteer cherry and grape tomato plants.  There was a nice crop of peas in the same area as the tomatoes, which I think slowed down the tomato plants.  Normally, we have had our fill of cherry tomatoes by now.

There has been some blossom end rot this year, but I think the tomatoes are doing OK now.  I didn't plant many here, and the ones across the street are leggy and not producing well because they don't have enough sun.  The critters seem to be beating me to what does ripen.  I am disappointed, but feel I need to give up my garden across the street.  If there were better growing conditions, I would keep at it.

I used my zoom to head east.  I had some of the Tuscan and regular kale in my salad today.  I didn't get a fall crop of lettuce planted because it was too hot.  I have been buying lettuce, spinach, and cucumbers from the farmer's market.  I did get a few cucumbers here before the plants died.

I have one okra plant.  It looks like I may get some before it freezes.  Some neighbors have a whole bunch of okra that they freeze and use during the winter.  They have some people they share with, too.  I planted 2 kinds of marigolds that I got from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  I only found the red cherry packet.  I looked online, and couldn't tell if that's what these are.  I have quit deadheading so I can harvest some seeds.  I hope they reseed themselves, too.

The butterflies have been enjoying all the verbena bonariensis that survived the hoe.  As I was weeding, I kept saying, I'm letting the ones in the middle live, so I did hoe up quite a few.  There are two painted ladies in this photo.  On the right are a few leaves of a yellow summer squash plant that produced a few, but is now struggling.

Some of my pots of mint are along the north side of the garage.  I'm not sure what kind of goldenrod that is, and whether I planted it or some critter did.  The sweet pea planted itself, and I let it grow over an old plant stand.

We're back to the compost piles.  I will need to harvest the rest of the sweet potatoes soon, but for now, I'll let them grow.

 This section needs to have a little more taken out in order to be ready for leaves.  The neighbors to the north put their leaves over the fence.

I got into the first compost bin to take this photo.  Next year, I don't think I'll plant anything in a compost pile.  I didn't get the other two turned this summer, and I don't think they broke down as well as usual.  I was glad to get some green from the leaves to help the process along.

As I was going in, I took a few more photos.  I get volunteer dill, cilantro, and this, borage each summer.

I had to include the painted lady(ies).  I'm not sure if it's the same one, but I wanted to include each side of the wings.

Well, the weekend is over, and it was a good one.  I hope yours was, too.


  1. Ha! We were both in the compost pile this weekend! :-)

    Everything looks Great over there!!

  2. I never "plant" anything in my compost piles, but what sprouts up on it's own is usually quite prolific. Despite having lost my garden to frost a few weeks back, I'm still getting loads of cherry tomatoes from the compost heap--it's sheltered from above by a large tree.

  3. I see you are still nice and green. I love the marigolds. I lost my packets too! I intend to have some next year.

    I am always impressed by how much you can squeeze into your space. You are an inspiration to others who think they don't have room to garden.

  4. Yes, those sweet potato roots would become potatoes with time. You can, in fact, throw those roots into a bucket, cover them with soil and store them for the winter where they will not freeze. I stored mine in the attached garage last winter. Once in awhile I'd dump a little water in the bucket. Last spring, when I dumped the bucket out, I had one huge sweet potato, which I ate, and I gave everything else to my neighbors. They planted them in their raised bed and the plants took over the bed. They are itching to dig them up and see what they have and I am trying to get them to hold off till right before a freeze.

    Your yard looks so good. Love those red marigolds...

  5. If I was having trouble getting much done like you are I would be very satisfied! (I hope I just said what I think I said, it's after midnight.)

  6. What a great crop of sweet potatoes. I haven't tried to grow them before but looks like you had great success. It's certainly bittersweet when summer comes to an end but it looks like you have a lot still flowering.

  7. My sweet potato vines have gone crazy this summer, they're huge. But you know, I didn't even think about whether there would be sweet potatoes in the ground!


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