No, I am not trying for some kind of absentee record ... cannot explain my absence from here ... but since the last post the garden clean-up has gone quite well. Perhaps the most stark contrast is this before and after of a tomato bed.
So bed by bed things are neat and tidy ... the pathways are another story. I may break down and just let it go to grass and keep it trimmed with a trimmer next season. I need to save my weeding muscles for tasks more closely linked to crop production.
And while in my heart of hearts I do not believe it, there IS more to a garden than a successful, lingering tomato crop, I am still getting green beans, Swiss chard, spinach and potatoes. Meanwhile, butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and rutabaga lie in waiting. So there is still reason to revel in the garden and its production.
On Monday I prepared one of my garlic beds with plenty of composted lamb manure. I laid it out in a 6x8 inch grid and on Tuesday I planted six varieties of hardneck. A total of 112 cloves. The second bed is still housing sweet potatoes, but I shall harvest them this weekend. I took a peek in there last weekend and it looks to be an adequate crop. So I recommend to New England gardeners who are trying to make maximum use of garden space to consider interplanting sweet potato slips in a garlic bed on Memorial Day. You can harvest the garlic without disturbing the sweet potato vines and you can have your bed back by Columbus Day in time to plant next year's garlic. ( I KNOW I should rotate, but I have never had disease, and I like using these beds because they are outside the garden fence and garlic is deer resistant ... although sweet potato vines are not and I did use some Bobbex on them in the early summer when they were getting started.)