Six On Saturday — October 6

It’s time for another Six on Saturday! Six things from the garden, from beauty to pests to projects. I join with gardeners worldwide to post a weekly update. More may be seen here on The Propagator’s site. Join in the fun!

ONE – Fall in her glory wows me. At every turn, or even just out the front door, the slanted light and vibrant colors proclaim the season. Our native bigleaf maples have begun their leaf drop, but haven’t quite turned to bronzy tones yet.

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TWO – The native, bushy vine maples are standouts in the garden, turning redder each day. A couple of our specimens reach 15×15 feet.

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THREE – The veggie beds and greenhouse continue to pump out great produce. I’ve pulled the bed covers out from storage to begin organizing protection for overwintering crops.

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FOUR – Strong rainstorms overnight wreaked some havoc on the abundant dahlias, shown below, but I have plenty of beauties remaining to make big bouquets.

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FIVE – Those same rainstorms mixed with morning dew and provided gorgeous crystals on the asparagus hedge in the morning light. No frost yet, thankfully.

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SIX – I am excited to head down to family in California this week, where we’ll celebrate my dear mom’s 90th birthday. She’ll then come up with us for a few weeks at Coppertop. I’ve been thinking of fun projects for us, and one of them is making lekvar (Slivkový Lekvár), or prune jelly, according to our Slovak heritage. In preparation, I harvested six pounds of Italian prune plums this week, sliced and pitted them, then froze them for our jam-making session. These are most similar to European Damsons. I’m almost ready for you, Mom!  XOX

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35 thoughts on “Six On Saturday — October 6

  1. You are still so busy in the garden. Wonderful rain to water your garden before winter strikes. Love all of your dahlias. You have a bouquet almost picked for your by the rain. Happy Birthday to your Mom.

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  2. Oh goodness, those plums are amazing. What a haul! Lovely autumn colours are appearing in your garden, but it’s still providing you with bounty.

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  3. Will you get much snow in winter where you are? I’m interested in your ‘winter blankets’ for the beds. Never tried protecting crops overwinter and loose a lot if weather is bad but not sure how to protect them as surely blanket will just collapse under weight of snow? Lovely post here, I’m so with you on autumn beauty stopping you in your tracks at every turn 🙂

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    • We’ve had a few snowfalls each winter, but it doesn’t usually last on the ground beyond a few days. Since we are on the coast we are relatively mild, but we also live on a mountain at 1200′ elevation and get more freezing temps overnight than down in town. Thus the bed covers. The covers allow for harvesting through the winter and early spring, but I don’t take the time and effort to cover all 21 raised beds. We made bed covers in late 2016. Here’s the link to the post describing them: https://gardensatcoppertop.com/2016/11/27/muddy-work/

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  4. Your foliage is pretty and enjoyed by me. No color here yet as it still feels and acts like August in Ohio. Very hot and humid. I thank you for sharing some of your beauty with us.
    Have a great time with your Mom. Looks like you two have your work cut out for you.

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    • Time for a shift in weather for you. I imagine you won’t be too sad to say goodbye to that heat. I depart tomorrow and am excited to spend about a month in her company. She’s a gem!

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  5. Oh, the bigleaf maple rox! We do not use it in landscaping much, but it is grand in the wild. I try to explain to those from the East, that it is a summery tree. Compared to eastern maples, the autumn color is not the greatest. Vine maple is not native here. It does not do very well even if planted. I would like it to be a good alternative to the Japanese maples because I dislike Japanese maples so.

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    • No bright colors from the bigleafs but plenty of autumnal, muted golds. They really add a golden glow to areas of our land, and I appreciate them most in the areas featuring other natives. Also plenty of giant leaves for compost and leaf litter.

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      • I just featured bigleaf maple for the gardening column, which will be posted for next Tuesday. There are only a few at work, and they have a naughty habit of growing where they do not belong. There were not many at my home, so I took very good care of what was there.

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  6. What do you do with all those fallen leaves? I am planning to head to the local park to rake up a dozen or so bags of leaves, they get stashed away yo make leaf mould. This is my third year doing it so I should have some useable material from year 1. It’s a long game!

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    • Re: fallen leaves. I hire someone to “mow” the leaves which are mulched and go into a collector. Then I have him dump them at the edges of the garden in large wire containers I made. Some of this leaf litter goes immediately on beds, some waits for next spring when it is composted.

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        • That sounds like our procedure as well, Mala, except Hubby does the majority of the work himself with a Stihl shredder/vac that shreds acres of leaves AND collects them. The ones that aren’t turned into compost or litter will go onto my raised beds of dahlia tubers this year. We’re testing that out to see if a few inches of shredded leaves provide adequate protection (and successfully reduce the digging).

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  7. I used to do it with our small mower that has a mulch bag, but it took a long time and bothered my back. I’m 75 and trying to figure out how I can keep gardening until I’m 95. My plan is to begin hiring help to do some of the garden maintenance. Last year hiring the leaf mulching was the first step. I want to keep doing as much as I can myself as it keeps me moving. A yoga class four mornings a week at 7 a.m. helps, too.

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  8. What a great collection of dahlias. I wish mine could survive against the annual slug onslaught. I try some in vain most years. Best wishes to your Mum and I think that it is lovely that you are so organised for her visit. (Funnily enough I took my Mum a jar of damson jam on my last visit)

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