Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall garden is growing

Harvest time still going! Celery, Swiss chard, red cabbage,
Broccoli Rabe, Brussels Sprouts, and peppers (that I missed in earlier picking)
Here it is, Oct. 27 and  I picked all this from my garden, leftover harvest mostly. The Broccoli Rabe is from my first fall garden, which is doing well. I couldn't believe how fast the plants took off. The warm Indian summer sunshine helped a lot.
I planted Broccoli Rabe, spinach and lettuce and my husband made a cold frame for the area so the plants should keep growing. I want to cover the Swiss chard that is still growing on the perimeter of the garden. The hard frosts lately have slowed the leaf growth. It would be great to have Swiss chard through the New Year.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Don't burn the leaves, they're golden

The weather is staying warm, it's definitely Indian summer. No freezing temperatures in the forecast for at least a week. I checked the 10-day forecast for the Oakland County area at and it's predicting lows in the 40's and 50's nightly until next weekend.

This weekend is a good time to do yard work before winter, such as gathering leaves. There are alternatives to burning those leaves. The smoke causes air pollution and adversely affects people with respiratory ailments and allergies. Leaves can be good mulch and compost, except for pine needles which are only good for weed block. I place thin layers of pine needles around trees and next to the house and around flowers in the flower garden, to inhibit weed growth.

To turn leaves into mulch for perennial plants, it's best to shred the leaves by mowing with a bagger or raking after mowing.

Before you add mulch, clear away dead foliage and weeds from the plant beds. When the soil freezes, then spread the mulch, 2 to 3 inches deep.

For composting, mix the leaves with grass trimmings or weeds, (that have not gone to seed) and livestock manure or commercial fertilizer to speed up the process. For those who don't have room to make compost, many trash services collect leaves to produce compost for commercial sale.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Flash Flood Watch for Southeast Michigan expired

A Flash Flood Watch which was issued by the National Weather Service for later today in Southeast Michigan has expired.
The weather has been unseasonably warm and is forecast to stay mild for the next 10 days, without freezing temperatures at night.
For more information, visit National Weather Service