October in the Garden

As the end of October approaches, the garden has been more or less put to bed for the winter, but there’s still quite a bit growing.

The Friday before last a frost was predicted, so I went over to the garden and picked one last bouquet of flowers, big bunches of herbs, and most of the chard. I didn’t quite believe that we would really get a hard frost, but that night the temperature dipped down to 25 degrees.

The last of the chile peppers and beans and flowers were zapped, and even some of the kale had a little bit of frost damage. That weekend we finished clearing out the most of the beds, and prepared two big beds for garlic.

The garlic went in the ground last Wednesday, over 100 cloves of 4 different varieties. I may have gone a little bit overboard, but I don’t think you could ever have too much garlic. Maybe everyone will get garlic for Christmas next year.

Before the frost I put a row cover over the lettuce, and it’s nice and cozy under there. The lettuce didn’t seem to be bothered at all by the cold, and when I peeked under the fabric yesterday I couldn’t believe how much it had grown.

One of the new cold frames is in place over a bed of mustard greens, chard, tat soi, and carrots. The second cold frame isn’t quite ready yet, but when it’s finished it will go over another bed planted with lettuce, chard, arugula, spinach, and parsley. There’s also still plenty of kale and leeks, so I’m hoping we’ll be able to keep eating from the garden til it’s all buried in snow.

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Getting Ready for Fall

Fall has snuck up on me. All through August and September I had a list of garden chores in the back of my mind, things I wanted to get done before October. Even so it seemed very far away until late Friday night, when it suddenly hit me that Monday would be October 1st. That meant my seed garlic would be arriving in the mail this week and probably the flower bulbs I ordered many months ago too. There were beds to be cleared and bales of straw to procure and cold frames to build. Continue reading

September in the Garden

For weeks I’ve been resisting the inevitable, not quite ready to accept that fall was on its way and that the plants in the garden would soon start winding down. But then all of a sudden about a week ago that little switch flipped inside my brain. I’m starting to get excited about eating soup and wearing sweaters again. Friday evening I went over to the garden and I was suddenly struck by how tired everything looked. The sunflowers were about to keel over and the squash vines had nearly all withered. Continue reading