State of the garden: late September

post_cover_state_of_the_gardenAs you may have guessed from the complete lack of posts this month, things have gotten a bit out of hand. I’d like to say that I was still taking care of my fire escape garden (and community garden plot, for that matter), but that is far from truth. However, we’re in mid-Fall already, which means garden cleanup and re-organizing for late season harvest are long overdue… Fortunately, last week Anna the tiny gardener and yours truly spent an afternoon home and managed to get some work done! Here’s the report.

I try to be as honest about my gardening adventures as possible, so I deliberately took pictures of the garden the way it is, mess and all…

The lonely bok choy is the last thing growing in green wall #1. You can also see dried up cucumber plants on the right.
Have you noticed something common between the two pictures? Hint: it is evil and has a furry tail.

Clearly, there’s a million things that needs to be done here. I’ve complained about green wall #1 turning out even uglier than I expected for a while now, but as you can see, I haven’t gotten to dismantling it, let alone reconstructing.

Another big task is building sturdy cages to cover the planters, as opposed to wrapping everything in bird netting. The squirrels can still reach the soil by pushing on the net and sticking their claws through it, so they are still digging things up, even though they can’t quite pull them out through the netting…

Anna and I only had a couple of hour at most at our disposal, so we set those big tasks aside for a better time and decided to tackle smaller chores instead. We started by replanting the ginger from a grow-bag into a hard-walled contained, which can be wrapped with ant-squirrel netting more securely.

The pink baby gate was previously used as a trellis for cucumbers.

Next we really had to move the succulents from those hanging planters. (I’m officially giving up on these now, no plant seems happy in them. I’ll remove the hooks and stand them up as regular pots.)


I decided to pot them into this basket planter I made in spring (the marigolds that grew in it were destroyed by the scorching summer heat, but the succulents may actually enjoy the excessive drainage).


img_0271I also reinforced the netting around the basket in a likely futile attempt to keep the evil squirrels away from the fleshy juicy plants.


We also harvested some seeds for saving from basil, oregano and marigolds. These are so easy to collect! I hope to do a proper post on seed saving in the future.

Basil seed pods.
Oregano seed pods.

It was still very hot last week, so the worms needed ice-packs. This was one of the few garden chores that I maintained almost daily, no matter how busy I was with other things. After all, it was literally a matter of life and death for the wigglers during this summer. As I write this, the weather is finally approaching the mid-70s that I consider normal for this time of year, so hopefully the freeze-packs can rest till next summer.

img_0285Finally, as I said, it is time to seed the late season crops. The lower level of green wall #2 is mostly empty, so we’ve sown some red sails lettuce.

img_0275It was so dark by the time we finished sowing that flashlights were needed to put the netting protecting the gutter planters back in place.

img_0283So here’s how we spent the no-school day at the fire escape garden. What are you doing in preparation for Fall? Or Spring, in case of the Southern hemisphere?



5 thoughts on “State of the garden: late September

  1. I love that last picture! It’s good to review what’s working and what’s not; I love the constant cycle of renewal in a garden. I, like you, neglected the garden for much of September, but am just getting to grips with what needs doing. I have uprooted a devilish thug this week, and now have new planting space. That won’t last long!

    Liked by 1 person

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