After weeding and trimming, I spread a pick-up truck load of compost in the perennial flower beds, along the side of the garden path and along the fence row.(notice the new fence built by my talented husband. It replaces the one damaged in the 2009 Ice Storm.)
I buy compost from the city compost facility; sometimes it is better than other times. This week it was premium, rich black color, earthy smell, very little trash and quite airy.
Like some of you I had reservations about using the city compost, not sure it would be safe. A couple of years ago I addressed my concerns to Kathy Keeney, who at the time was the horticulturist for the city. She sent me the following information:
The potager is in sad shape. An extremely hot and dry summer, neglect due to summer travel and family needs, not to mention a midnight thief, it has not been a good for the fruits and veggies. Hand watering just keeps the plants alive, but not thriving. The rain barrel has been empty for months. The green beans dried up while we were in D.C. in July. The squash got annihilated by the squash bug. The neighborhood raccoon(s) have taken care of most of the melons.
Here is one they haven't found yet!
Finally I have come to the conclusion it isn’t worth the effort and expense to water the tomatoes and peppers (still plenty at Bennett’s farm stand.)
The fall plantings are not much better. The peas and shallots have germinated sparsely and I have replanted the peas already. The lettuce and spinach have not germinated (probably too hot) so will replant them again this weekend. The broccoli is just sitting there. The Chinese cabbage looks pretty good. Rain today gives me some hope.
All this to say there hasn’t been much to write about since the first part of July. There is always another year! I plan to talk with my in-house garden engineer over the winter about upgrading the watering system. Hopefully he will not talk me into running away with him for a week or so during the critical garden season next summer!