Have you ever been on a bog? The one thing you would have noticed other than shaky ground would be the noise. Bogs are not quiet places; they are filled with small sounds of wetness. A bog is definitely what the veg garden seemed yesterday. Its slurpy sussurations were positively eerie. The ground, or maybe the worms, seemed to be trying to make room for all that water. It popped and plipped and sipped. Pulling out used plants, much less walking down the sodden paths, was an exercise in making sucking sounds.
It positively poured last night. Yesterday, however, was a nice day for yardwork; lots of brightness from the overcast sky, and warm temperatures (comparatively speaking to what we’d been experiencing of late, anyway) in the 60s. It is a definite no-no, working the clay soil when it is as wet as it is; I tried to keep soil movement to a minimum. Considering I was cleaning out the beds 2 weeks earlier than normal, there was still a lot of productive greenery around me, moreso than I had originally thought. SO, of the 18 beds, only 5 have been “put to bed” for the winter, and then not really as a couple of them still have stuff in them.
At least I cleaned out the tomatoes. Every year at this time I ask myself, do I really need small tomatoes like the Riesentraube and the (Pox On Your House) Purple Russian, because they truly are entirely too prolific for my own good. And then I remember that it is the small ones that ripen first, way before I get a hint of pink on the Brandywines and other, larger fruit. So I sigh and tear out the blackened plants, and swear as I pick up each individual fallen tomato, trying hard not to squish them in fear of finding a (tomato seedling) bomb in its place next spring.
I planted the garlic, too. I received a sampler pack from Filaree Farms of two softneck and two hardneck varieties. I also planted two bulbs (softneck) that I picked up at the farmer’s market…figuring if they grew for that lady, they’ll grow for me. When I cleared the garlic bed, I pulled a few green garlic bulbs up too and they delighted me on the pizza I made last night. I found some errant shallots, too, which are destined for one of my all-time favorite garden dish: squash ravioli with sage, shallots and brown butter. A bit labor intensive, but delicious. I noticed the radicchio is blushing nicely in the cooler weather; it reminds me that radicchio and fingerlings with gorgonzola is also in my future. Maybe tomorrow night…