Fox Island Garden Club

Gardening Tips of the Month for 2020
By Linda Dodds
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October 2020 Garden Tip of the Month
Thursday, October 1, 2020
This has been a strange year with not only because of the Coronavirus but also some weird things happening in my garden. First of all, I had honey bees taking over the hummingbird feeders and a tall water feature. The hummingbirds kept trying to push the bees out but they filled up a feeder with 5 or 6 bees per flower. The hummingbirds were not happy until we had the smokey days and the bees didn’t come back.

Also this year the deer completely decimated my vegetable garden. I always sprayed almost every day with Liquid fence as they don’t like the taste of rotten eggs and garlic.

For the last 15 or 20 years I have religiously sprayed with liquid fence and have had very few Problems with them. It only happened when I got too busy pulling weeds or dealing with any of my Real estate issues. This year I felt it was a good time to retire and should have ample time to garden all day long if I needed to pull weeds—-however that’s not how it worked out. The white Italian zucchini seeds that I planted the last 2 years are delicious but the deer ate all the leaves so the flowers just died off. Beets, green beans, lettuce and potatoes didn’t produce but cucumbers did. That is why my granddaughter
Shelby got over 20 qt’s of pickles from me to take back to WSU. My corn cobs did do well so I now have the bundles attached to the porch columns. The worst of my produce is the tomato plants that the deer just enjoyed fully. I put in 15 tomato plants and have only had about 4 or 5 tomatoes.

Okay I no longer need to cry over chomped beans but I need to tell you how to start preparing for winter. As leaves fall down, rake them up and as you clean up beds by adding them to each cleaned up vegetable garden areas. Cover them all with compost and put if over each cleaned up area. They should be thick enough to keep the light off the seeds that have ended up over the area and you had planted this spring. You will be pleased next year with a fewer amount weeds. Draw out your beds once the beds are clean and write down what was growing there.

Store it in a safe place until next year. I keep a record of what went there and check if it needs to have a new area for the same place. A good example would be to not grow potatoes next year where tomato plants were planted this year or versa And do plant corn where beans were growing this year as beans produce a lot of nitrogen which is essential to the corn. If you found a blossom rot on tomatoes, do not plant tomatoes there next year or better yet would be to sprinkle the bed with Calcium and next year repeat it again.

You should all have time to fertilize your lawns this month before winter storms begin if you haven’t already. Keep leaves raked up. Fall colors just starting about NOW!

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