Deer Gardener says: it’s spider time

  • Sep. 28, 2009 7:00 a.m.

The time of the spider is upon us. Arachnids web everywhere, then huddle in the corner and wait silently, to shroud unlucky passersby for future succulent needs, (especially the ‘suc’ part.). Since my head is first into the web in our greenhouse, I have misgivings about the spiders’ intent. I need to learn to go in stick first. The webs are beautiful coated with dew, and each one is unique.The rain has turned on, so picking an hour to tidy the garden is difficult, but not impossible. We are still eating beans, but they are getting ‘rusty’ from the rain. My yellow beans are ready to compost now. If you wait until frost, the vines are slimy and harder to remove from the wire.One rainy day when there was a ‘windy-wind'( my granddaughter’s phrase) I cleaned out the greenhouse beds. What a lovely session that was with the warm sauna-like air. Clean them before things get musty, and you will be glad. My greenhouse gladiola have been pulled, cleaned of the pips and hung upside down to dry. The outside ones are still trying to flower, poor things.Try to reclaim the six-inch edge we talked about last spring, around each garden bed from grass. It helps to keep the slugs back. I see that the sharp sand needs to be replaced also, it disappeared over the summer season.I watched a huge black slug lay her eggs the other day. It felt kind of invasive, but was interesting in its sluggliness. The eggs emerged from the top and base of her back. I guess I was thinking they came from the tummy area, but of course, they are mollusks not humanoids.The tiger lily are finished with the magnificent array of blossoms. They need to die down naturally for the bulb to gain maximum strength for next year. Removing the pips from along the stem and planting them in a nursery is an option if you are willing to wait three years for a flowering bulb.The blueberries did well this year, they were not as prolific as some years, but they were huge. I have two new bushes to plant out this next year. They have been in the nursery all summer, they may as well stay until early spring. Blueberry bushes show lovely fall colors so plant them where you can enjoy them, but the deer cannot decimate them (chicken wire fencing does the job).Plant garlic in September for a good start to the 2010 season. There is enough time for the garlic sets to establish roots prior to the winter. Plant it as the moon is increasing (now).The ideal lunar time to dig potatoes for storage is from Oct. 5-17 after the full moon. Conveniently, they will have died down nicely by then, and I can put it off another while! We are always looking for a way to store them well. Under the house is my usual, but it is too warm most years. I do leave some in the garden to dig as we use them, but the seed potatoes need to be dry stored. Do you have any potato storage tricks? Share please, at deergardener@hgqci.org

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