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Just Outside My Door

September 6, 2011
By ELAINE G. COLE, CORRESPONDENT
The past few days it has looked much like October had arrived. It was cloudy and in the daytime the low 70’s, sometimes even in the 60’s. There was no rain, just quite windy. It brought down some leaves and a few small limbs from the trees in our yard. It hasn’t hurt the flowers, but the drone of insects gets a little louder every day especially when the sun shines and the thermometer begins to rise.

Although the grass doesn’t grow as fast, I have a pumpkin by the garage door that seems to grow more every day and it’s not in a garden. Last fall I purchased a couple pumpkins by that door for decorations. They lasted a long time, but eventually they began to get soft. I neglected to get rid of them until they had rotted. Apparently I didn’t get all the seeds picked up and to my surprise, last spring I saw something green growing and soon I realized it was a pumpkin vine. It continued to spread and I’ve been trying to move it enough so that it doesn’t cover the driveway. It has had several pretty yellow flowers, some of which have already produced small green pumpkins. The vine continues to grow and has new blooms pop out nearly every day. It has tried to cover the walkway, but hasn’t quite reached it yet. It is however, still growing by leaps and bounds without any help from me. It has been fun to watch it’s growth, and, if it continues to mature, I won’t have to buy pumpkins this year.

As for my gardens, I have several other tasks to do before Jack Frost arrives. One of them is to make sure the perennial plants are protected from the winter temperatures. One way is to add more mulch. Since I don’t have equipment to make it, I was pleased to find information on making it without using a container. The garbage and clippings can be put right in the actual flower bed where it is needed. Do not put meat scraps or bones, just vegetable matter, peanut shells and vegetable husks. After that, one can add lawn clippings, crushed fall leaves, small twigs, shredded newspapers, bark, straw and spent coffee grounds. This should be done in the fall after most of the flowering is over. If it is too unsightly, it can be covered with a little good garden soil. If the area gets cold and snowy, that makes another covering. Come spring, mix it up and behold you have an excellent mulch. One can also make it colored by purchasing a dye at a nursery or over the Internet.

I haven’t tried making mulch right in the garden yet, but I know it would be a lot cheaper than buying it. Thus I’m thinking about trying the aforesaid method on at least one of my flower gardens. If I do, I’ll let you all know how it turns out.

Article Photos

Photo by Elaine G. Cole
A pumpkin vine growing by the garage door that seems to grow more every day.

 
 
 

 

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