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Dallying In The Dirt, Issue #301 - The fall vegetables have been planted and are thriving
September 08, 2017

I want to thank all of you who wrote to point out that my use of the rototiller was the cause of my weed resurgence. It was a conscious decision knowing the weeds would appear balanced against getting rid of 15 years of Raspberry roots with a fork. It was the ability of those weeds to come up through the new mulch that really irked me. A little vinegar spray on those baby weeds has dealt with the problem, for now.
The fall vegetables did manage to get planted, most of them in the sub irrigation boxes and they are growing well. These baby Pak Choi should be ready for the table in another week or so, Notice the other advantage of this system, no weeds. The automatic watering system that connects all of these boxes has worked very well all summer. I have a few new ones to hook up to the system but that takes a bit of time that I don’t seem to have and as long as the plants in them are relatively small I can manually fill them every few days. Would it take less time to hook them up to the system than it does to carry a few cans of water to them?? That’s the type of question that I really don’t want to contemplate right now.

Autumn is the season for Sedums. The tall green leafed ones with pink to red heads of closely packed flowers are everywhere and with good reason. They are easy to grow, foolproof and stay in nice tight clumps. I really like some of the burgundy coloured ones like this one but they all seem to fall over and lay down. I should try cutting them back in mid summer to see if that reduces the tall growth and leaves them with a more upright form when they bloom at this time of year. There are many other Sedums that are great garden plants from low spreaders to mid sized ones and they bloom at a variety of times during the summer. They all share those disease and bug free attributes. I even have a fall blooming one called Lemonade that purports to have yellow flowers and the flower colour is interesting if not actually yellow.

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks since Dallying last appeared but we are trying to get back on track. The great downsizing is proceeding and it is going faster now that I’ve quit separating and selling. That project has also been temporarily slowed as my job as landlord takes over. My long time tenant has vacated the apartment and I’m busy painting, wallpapering and doing related chores to get ready for the new tenant. My son and family arrived from the west coast for a week and it was great fun spending time with them. Why do all of these things that need a lot of my time all seem to happen at the same time?? Meanwhile the veggie garden continues to feed us well but it is a bit of a challenge finding some of the produce in between the ever rampant weeds.

One veggie that I can always find no matter how big the weeds grow is my climbing Zucchini, Zucchini trombata. That’s a 3.5M (12 ft) trellis on the back of the garage and the vine has been to the top and back down again. Look carefully near the top and you will see the rather large Zucchini woven in between the trellis bits. Not sure how I will get it out but it will undoubtedly involve a ladder and a large knife. We usually eat these much smaller but that one was not readily accessible and kind of got away from us. The other great thing about these is the bulbous end on the fruit. All of the seeds are in that end and the rest of it is solid usable flesh. Cooking a veggie dish for friends this weekend and Peppers, Celery, Eggplant and Zucchini in a green Curry sauce will have them all asking questions.

Now it’s time to answer a few of my reader’s questions. To ask a question just “reply” to this ezine. Don’t forget to check the front page of the Website for frequent short ideas for current gardening activities.

Valerie Asks? Thanks for sharing pictures of your garden, it is always a delight to see your flowers. Can you tell me please if I can move a 5ft three years old Rose of Sharon now or not until Spring.

Ken Answers! Almost all deciduous plants are happier moving in the fall then they are in the spring. As soon as the leaves show any sign of colouring then get out your shovel and relocate Sharon. Keep it well watered after you move it and it should leaf out and look good next spring.

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