Shortly after I wrote the last garden update, the first frost came, and with that, the end of the season. It was a good second season, despite some challenges.
Here’s what the cleanup looked like:
The buckets and colanders before the first rinse. I still need to bleach and rinse them again before putting them away. I chose feed buckets a couple of years ago because they seemed sanitary enough. I was using organic soil, so I thought, “may as well keep things as neat and clean as possible”. I went with the 12 quart size, based on what I read & what I could afford. They were expensive and, in retrospect, possibly unnecessary, but I like them. The colanders are for drainage. The tomatoes really seemed to take to this system the first year, which was why I kept using it. I like it and the plants like it, so I see no reason not to continue.
Incidentally, I wouldn’t call myself an organic gardener, although I think everything I used on the tomatoes happened to be organic. It was by design originally, but this year, I was just working with what I had.
Tomato cages, obviously. These are 42″. I also use garden twine to tie the plants to the cages. This was more of an issue when the leaves were huge, and less so once they had permanent buzzcuts, though the cages were still necessary to support the fruit. I also had to anchor the buckets and cages against the wind this year, so next year, that will be on my set-up list.
The remaining tomatoes in their storage bag. It’s been a little while since I put them in the fridge. Hopefully, they’re still fine.
The marigolds were amazing this year. Even with the stems half-gone, the flowers were still cheerful! I trimmed them to the bases, then pulled them out. What a root system! I also cleaned and recycled the bottles I was using for drainage. As I mentioned before, I don’t plan to use that system again. It worked just fine, it just seemed redundant.
Happy Harvest! 🙂