November 18, 2017
The only problem with the incredible amount of kale I have growing in the garden this fall is that it's beginning to taste like broccoli to me. I'm going to try putting Apple Cider Vinegar on it to kill the taste. It's the jagged leafed purple and green kind that used to taste more like spjnach. The cook loves it but I'm afraid to pick too much because she'll freeze it and I'll be eating it all winter. All the insects in the garden seem to love it too.
I have to check the bottom of every leaf when I pick because the aphid colonies don't wash off with my new washing technique. The white flies get blown off and the cabbage moth caterpillars get scraped off. I don't know what that crud is that's left in the washing bowl, but maybe I don't want to know.
November 19, 2017
I picked up one of my mini compost piles yesterday to put on a small weed patch and had to chuckle at myself wondering if this was going to become a thing. Moving my piles around to where they are needed like they do beehives. The ground underneath was rich, black and weed free so I put a few shovel fulls of compost on it. It's ready to plant. My compost is too fluffy to kill weeds unless I put it on 4" thick. I don't have enough for that.
The wet leaves, piled on 4" thick, seem to be as good a weed killer as the garden waste I'm using. They need to lay flat and layer to work effectively. Bean and melon vines typically let in too much light to keep the ground weed free so I need to keep adding garden waste on top. The soil loves it. So do my artichokes.
November 21, 2017
Not only did the Fall rains bring the grasses back, the buttercups growing, and the tree branches rising up, it brought the return of the gopher mounds. I found one in the garden yesterday and the cats brought a gopher in the house this morning. I hope it was the same one. I once discovered a pocket of inch and a half long Burmuda grass runners all stuffed in a ball at the end of a gopher hole. They had been cut and dragged there by a gopher and I thought it was a nest.
As I carefully separated it I realized it was a food storage place. I thought it was for the winter but now I think it may be for the summer when the soil is too hard to dig. Their tunnels are so perfectly round that they must roll over and over while using the same burrowing motion with their front paws. Kinda cute to think about.