Saturday, October 29, 2016

Fall Chores, Persimmons, Zucchinis, Garlic. 10.29.16

Vegetable bed covered with leaves.  10.29.16
 Yesterday I raked up a neighbor's maple leaves.  Those now cover a bed that was Indian Corn (this year) and will be kitchen garden (not sure - potatoes, onions, tomatoes, squash) next year.  I chopped the corn stalks into about 1 foot sections, and also spread lime before spreading leaves.  It should pack down and mostly decompose to dig in, by late winter.
The Last Zucchini.  10.29.16

Nikita's Gift (Plate) and Saijo (Countertop) Persimmons.  10.29.16
 I also went around the neighborhood to ask neighbors for their leaves.  That way, they get some old guy to rake them up (me) quietly with rake, not a blower, and haul away.  I get a big pile of tree leaves for the vegetable beds.
Baja (Roja?) Garlic.  10.29.16

More Garlic Starts.  10.26.16
One last zucchini.  Such a good year for those.

Picked about 1/4 of the Nikita's Gift Persimmons.  They are hard, so will need to ripen.  I placed them into a bag of apples to assist that process.

Apples produce ethylene gas, as part of their ripening process.  The ethylene gas will help the persimmons to ripen, too.

Not sure about that Saijo, there is still some green.  The rest, only about 6 fruits, are still on the tree.

The garlic starts from local nursery, they labeled "Baja" but I wonder if they are Spanish Roja, are all growing nicely.  When I get a chance and it's not raining, they need hoeing for the weeds.  I checked other local nurseries, no garlic starts.  Finally, I checked Portland Nursery, they had multiple types.  I bought 2 heads of "Duganski", just for variety.  Ordered from a catalog, I would have to order more than I need, for an even higher price plus shipping.  Territorial sells Duganski.  "beautiful, purple stripe garlic with large bulbs and an amazing flavor that matches its looks and size. Purple outer wrappers protect the violet-tinged cloves that burst with a fiery flavor and mellow out with a pleasant aftertaste." This is just for novelty, see if they are different from the Inchelium Red that I grow each year.

Speaking of Inchelium Red, it's far behind the Baja/Roja this year.  A few have germinated, maybe 10 of the 40 or so that I planted.

Edit 10.30.16  It turns our there actually is a Baja Garlic, called "Baja Morado".   From the link - "Baja Morado...  was at first thought to be a long storing Creole but upon detailed examination turned out to be an even longer storing Silverskin that has a nice pleasant garlickiness with some pungency... similar to Mexican Red Silver but with much white in the clove covers rather than solid deep red."  As with anything from nurseries, local and mail order, it's best to take things with a grain of salt.  But who know"  Maybe this IS Baja, and Baja Morado at that.


  1. Your garlic choice sounds like a good experiment. Please keep us posted on its flavor.
    I am amazed you have all that energy to rake up, hawl, and spread all those leaves You are truly a gardener!

  2. Joan, my energy isn't that great. I just force myself. It seems to work that way! Rabbits ate off half of my earlier garlic planting, Inchelium Red. They never did that before! Now to find some fencing... If it's not one critter, it's another :-)

  3. Hi there, I have a few questions: did you cover the leaves that you put in the vegetable garden or left them uncovered? Also I have two dwarf apple trees but the problem is that I have clay soil any idea on how to improve the soil? I added cow manur and garden soil to the hole before l planted them last fall but it doesn't seem they have grown much. Thank you !!

    1. Rose, I leave the leaves uncovered for the winter. There is conventional wisdom that soil should be covered by leaves or ground cover, so that impact from billions of rain drops don't compact the soil. Leaving them on top provides a sheltered environment for earthworms to work on them too. The best improvement for clay soil is usually to continue mulching. It does depend on how solid the clay is. Clay soils are usually nutrient rich, but can be problems if too dense. Here is a link to Linda Chalker Scott's website and a discussion of soils. I would continue to mulch with leaves or other organic amendments such as compost, and let those gradually work themselves into the soil. For future trees, I would avoid adding amendments to the soil in the hole, and refill with existing soil instead, adding the amendments to the mulch.

  4. Thank you for responding to my questions. I will mulch the trees. I dont think the clay soil is too dense. I had read about the soil having a lot of nutritions but it seem it keeps the water too much, one of the apple trees started to rot on its own it. I had to cut the dead branches, I dont have a way of sending you the photos of the trees here .

  5. Rose, I do wonder about the drainage. Either that or it's a different issue. Hard to say.