Patti Moreno, The Garden Girl & Mel Bartholomew of Square Foot Gardening, discuss what gardeners are doing in the month of October.
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Patti Moreno: Hi, I’m Patti Moreno of The Garden Girl. Mel Bartholomew: And I’m Mel Bartholomew from Square Foot Gardening. Patti Moreno: It’s October! Happy Halloween everybody and we’ve got pumpkins. Mel Bartholomew: Yes! Patti Moreno: In the garden this month. Mel Bartholomew: Right, and they’re growing vertically. Did you do all yours vertical? Patti Moreno: I absolutely did! I love seeing the pumpkins hanging off of my vertical support. Mel Bartholomew: Yes. Patti Moreno: And I actually give tours—you know, my friends and family come over and visit my garden and they’re just stunned when they see that pumpkin growing all the way up in the air. Mel Bartholomew: Yes! Right! Now a lot of people at first when you tell them that, they’d say, “How do you hold it up there?” and “Won’t it fall off?” and all of that, but I found that pumpkins and squash and watermelon, even the stem that’s holding it to the vine grows larger as the fruit gets bigger and it’s nature’s way of making sure that it holds that up. Patti Moreno: I think now is a good time to reflect on the past growing season. Did you have enough room? Mel Bartholomew: Right! Patti Moreno: And if you didn’t— Mel Bartholomew: That’s good point. Patti Moreno: And if you’re a little bit more inspired to expand your garden, I think it’s a good time to start implementing that expansion. Mel Bartholomew: Yup. There are a couple of things you can do. Now if your family is growing a little bit, you want to add—maybe the children want to garden now. So we could add another area where we put in children’s gardens. Adults are 4x4, children are 3x3 and you can expand them and have a 4x8 or 4x12, very easy to do. Or what we do along the fence line or against the building is build a narrower box and that might be two feet wide by any length you want—4, 8, 12, 16 feet long. And if it’s against the wall or a fence, you could then do your vertical gardening on that depending on what orientation you have towards the sun. Patti Moreno: I think that’s a great idea for people out there who have chain linked fences. Mel Bartholomew: Yes! Right! Patti Moreno: They’re such an eyesore. They’re expensive to remove and they’re expensive to actually install, so you don’t want to get rid of them. Mel Bartholomew: Right! And you might beautify it where it might go against the building wall. So that’s something to keep in mind, too. Patti Moreno: It definitely looks so much better when you see a beautiful wall of green as opposed to chain linked fence or a wall. Mel Bartholomew: Yup. Patti Moreno: So think about expanding your garden along your fence line this month. Mel Bartholomew: If you’re interested in saving the environment, what better way than to have your own compost pile. It basically is just a pile of once living plants, all different kinds from tree leaves to grass clippings to used plants or flowers or the stems and all that, but it’s going to take a long time for it to decompose by itself, so a man says, “Well, I can't wait that long.” So here are some tips on how you can have compost faster than the nature way. And by the way, they don’t smell if you don’t put in man-made things and rodents won’t be attracted to it if you don’t put in the kind of food that man has made like baked goods. Anything cooked should not go in there. So pile everything up. If you chop it up in small pieces, it will decompose faster. Patti Moreno: It’s kind of like chewing basically. You chew your food. Mel Bartholomew: Yes! Patti Moreno: The better you chew it, the easier it is to digest. Mel Bartholomew: There, very good, good idea! Well, the other thing is you want to keep the moisture content right. So your mouth knows how much saliva gets mixed with the food before it goes down to the tummy. Very good, good idea! The other thing about compost that you need to remember is keep it with the right moisture content. Now what is that? Well it’s not too wet and not to dry. It’s kind of like cooking. You tell som