6 Oct 2007
18c / Wind 2 / Sunny
Wonderful weather! The temp. is 18c, yet it feels like 22c in the sun, warm and gentle.
I started my day by harvesting the sunflower seeds. The sunflowers have been blooming to death this year. 2 plants are still producing bunches of flowers. It’s time to harvest the rest though. I'd harvested some 30% of the sunflower seeds already in September. This is now the second harvest. I cut down the big seed heads and left them to dry under the sun. The biggest head is 35 cm in diameter, with wonderful fat seeds.
I hanged all the smaller seed heads on the wooden panels of the compost bin for the birds to enjoy. Birds are important members of my garden. They should be able to share the harvest as well.
Before noon, I turned 1 compost heap over to the empty one next to it. The materials were gathered in the past few months, some of them were beginning to break down, attracting lots of worms, and looking really very healthy. After turning, I covered the heap with a sheet of thick plastic and left it to the worms and insects. By early spring, I should expect to harvest plenty of delicious compost full of goodies and organic matters for my vegetables and plants. Can’t wait till spring!
Now is a good time to start up a new compost heap, there are plenty of materials in the garden to be used. I started by lining on the base of the heap with some thick stems cut from the sunflowers, they are slow to decompose and will allow a bit air circulation in through the bottom of the pile which is essential for the heap. On top of the thick stems went in the thinner and softer stems of the sunflowers, together with some grass clippings. I then threw in a layer of prunings from the faded aster, mixing in some grass clippings again. I will build up the heap in the next few days with garden wastes and kitchen waste; and turn the heap once before the winter sets in.
The second harvest of this weekend was the chillies and peppers. According to the weather forecast, the night temperature should drop to 3C, with risk of ground frost. I need to harvest the fruits all in before the frost kills them. Here they are:
A few that were not harvested, apparently survived the night frost, looking happy and shining under the warm sun.