Fall weather is finally settling in and I have been busy cleaning up the beds, putting away trellises, mulching paths and doing the myriad of tasks that close out the season. These soggy photos were taken yesterday & today, in between bouts of rain & gusty winds - you'll have to excuse the fuzzy quality.
All of the hilltop beds are tucked in for the winter. I gave each of them a topping of compost but there are still a couple missing their sprinkling of grass. I don’t like to leave the soil bare over the winter and grass stays put much better than straw, which tends to blow around.
The hilltop mulching is almost finished – I have a stack of cardboard ready to be laid down and one more load of mulch sitting in the trailer:
|For mulching the paths between the raised beds I use mulch |
that is available for free from the municipality; it's not the prettiest of stuff,
but it does the job and the price is right
All of the hilltop beds that held annual veg are now empty except for two - these were planted up with garlic and shallots on October 26. I’ll give more details on this planting in my end of season review.
The asparagus ferns are finally turning colour & they are absolutely gorgeous – the yellow is so bright it almost glows:
The peppermint & chocolate mint were repotted into the large metal bin that held the sweet potatoes this year. The chocolate mint didn’t survive our last winter so I had to purchase a new plant and the peppermint just barely made it. I’m hoping that placing them in this larger container and covering them with straw (which I intend to do as soon as the soil freezes) gives me better results.
|Transplanted peppermint & chocolate mint|
A little worse for wear after several frosts and a couple of freezes
Do you see the green on the left side of the above photo, just in front of the yellow asparagus ferns? I forgot to take a photo but that's self-seeded chamomile. Roman chamomile is an annual, so these will not survive our winter – will that be it or will there be a sea of green come spring?
I’m leaving the straw bales in place over the winter. Since they really didn't start to decompose and give me some good growth until later in the summer, I’m hoping that they are stable enough to last another season.
|Straw Bales - These will be kept in place until next season|
& hopefully still be in good enough shape to use again
I cut back the cilantro a few weeks ago, but left the plants in place on the off chance that they would give me another small cutting – and they have done quite well despite a few sub zero nights. The other day they were a bit droopy with frost, but they perked up once the temperatures rose:
Cilantro together with bunching onions
that are leaning over due to the recent winds
Nebuka Perennial Bunching Onions
Also in this bed are the surviving spinach seedlings – Giant Winter Viroflex – which I am also testing to see if they will overwinter and give me an early spring harvest.
Giant Winter Viroflex Seedlings
The broccoli is still going – I was about to pull it up a couple of weeks ago, but the local forecast predicted relatively good weather so I figured I would leave it to see if I could get another round of side shoots, small as they were likely to be. And my patience has been rewarded:
|Broccoli Side Shoots|
|Mizuna & tatsoi|
And lastly, another tree issue has become apparent. We have a beautiful spruce next to our shed. And it’s big....too big:
This guy is probably around 30' tall
I do hate cutting down trees, especially spruce trees – they are one of my favourite evergreens. We have a few spruce in our front yard (one as big as this one!) and I'm hoping to plant one or two more to make up for losing this one. Beside the shed, we still need some sort of screening so we'll likely plant either a shrub or a much smaller tree.
Since we will already be having someone come in for the spruce, we've also been looking at other potential tree issues that can be dealt with at the same time. There are a couple of 20+ year old cedars that are much too close to the house, for instance. I have been procrastinating on cutting them down for a few years:
|This cedar has essentially grown into the side of the house -|
it looks like it's taking a bite out of the roof ;)
We are about 2 weeks away from the official end of the season. I truly love my garden, but it’s been an exceptionally busy year. Did I mention how much I'm looking forward to taking a bit of a break over the winter? Judging by all of the bloggers echoing this same sentiment, I'm definitely not alone on that one.
Till next time…