Saturday, December 8, 2012

Fall Clean Up (round 2)

I've already posted one entry about fall clean up (which you can see here).  But, the problem with being soft hearted, is that it means I have to do multiple fall clean ups, and multiple spring clean ups, and multiple prunings, and all sorts of other multiple things.  It's a pain in the ass, but you do what you gotta do when you are incapable of being a ruthless bitch about removing plants.

I can't prune things properly - I'll snip a branch here or there, but I can never remove a third of the plant like I'm supposed to (rosemary), and so I end up having to prune the plant monthly instead of just a few times during the year.  I can't pinch back things properly either - I feel bad for the plant every time I remove some leaves for cooking and so the plants end up being spindly and tall rather than bushy and short (basil I'm especially bad about)

I can't pull out a tomato plant while it's got tomatoes on it.  Thankfully I can manage to remove flowers so it won't start any new tomatoes.  And my husband is just as bad - I seriously was going to yank my tomato plant, but my husband managed to get it a reprieve because he wanted the 2 tomatoes that were on it.  Those two tomatoes were eaten by the raccoon/possum/squirrels, but it ended up with 4 more tomatoes before I started pulling blossoms off so now we've got 4 green tomatoes that should be ripening, but they're not going to make it through the freeze this coming week, so do I pull the green tomatoes, wrap them in newspaper and hope they eventually ripen, or do I just toss the whole plant?

I should have pulled out all the pepper plants during the first round of clean up but didn't because I want to collect seeds...the problem is that we're now expecting our first major frost and the peppers aren't at the optimal time for seed collection.  I really don't want to dig up the tall plants, but I'll go ahead and dig up the small plants, plus prep my Ghost Pepper for the winter by pruning it back and bringing in the pot.

I am getting better about not accepting plants just because they need a home.  It's to some extent the same mentality I had to have while volunteering at the humane society - constantly telling myself I can't have something just to keep me from saving everything.  [Of course, the problem now is that whenever I walk a dog at the humane society, I'm having to really convince myself I can't take the dog home.  At least in college it was easier because our rental house didn't allow animals; now I own my house and I can have whatever animals I want, now the problem is that my cats don't want me to have whatever animals I want.]

On the plus side, Mother Nature always does what I can't, and so, by next weekend I should be able to pull out all the remaining 'summer' crops and will finally be able to plant my [non-existent] fall garden.

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