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Winter Garden Prep and Hexagon Quilt

We had gorgeous weather last weekend.  I took advantage of the weather and tried to catch up on some things that didn't get done in the Spring due to my eye surgery.  Grass had also started growing in my raised vegetable beds.  They are now pristine! I had already pulled up my tomato and okra plants. My tomato plans get so big and the okra stalks get so thick that they take forever to compost.  I usually put them in bags and the city picks them up.  The city then compost the plant material and makes it available to residents for free.  The problem with free compost from the city is that you don't know what is in it.  When I have taken advantage of free compost, I have to pick out trash and it make me wonder what is in it that I can't see.  If I compost my own spent plants, I know what chemicals, plants, and kitchen peelings have been placed in it.

I was able to borrow a chipper for the day.

I had already shredded most of my okra stalks by the time I thought about taking a picture but the stalks are a big a small trees.

The shredder/chipper turned these stalks into this beautiful stuff that went straight into the compost bin. These will easily break down now.

This is why I like having three compost bins.  I have one that I am filling with fresh kitchen waste.  It is by far the most awful looking one.

The third compost bin was ready to be emptied of it's beautiful black rich soil.  I emptied it into one of my garden beds. You then work this into the dirt that is already in the garden bed to make it richer and will grow better vegetables.  I was thrilled to see a lot of worm activity in the bed.  I didn't take a picture of the worms for those who are squeamish, they are a thing of beauty to me.

My plants do better in the beds that are older because I have spent more time improving the soil year after year.  New beds I put in this year did not produce near like the ones I have had for several years.

I also spent some time killing the grass that has grown around my beds.

My plans are to put up some metal edging and fill the space between the edging and garden beds with gravel to walk on. The bags in the picture are what the city picks up to compost.  Plans are also to put up a high tunnel over one of the beds.  A high tunnel will extend my growing season like a green house.

I got so excited about how much I got accomplished in my garden that I decided to go ahead with a Winter garden.  I did my research through the Collin County Master Gardeners website and selected some vegetables to plant.  I then got disappointed when those plants were not available to purchase.  I spent less than ten dollars on transplants of kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and garlic.

In working in the yard, I discovered several areas that had animal droppings.  I have found out that we have a bobcat lurking in our neighborhood.  One of my neighbors was able to snap this picture.  I hope he/she is thinning out the rabbit population.

After stitching an unknown number of one inch hexagons, I was able to lay out my blocks.  I still have to sew the blocks together and decide what I am going to do with the edges, but I am thrilled to be at the point to be able to see the big picture.