STATE OF THE GARDEN
END OF OCTOBER
What an incredible fall we are having. And it looks as though it will continue for a while. I spent some time in the garden yesterday and decided that my favorite season is whichever season we are currently having. The shades of browns, yellows, and oranges that are in both the garden and up on the bluffs are too numerous to count. And harvesting continues. Kale, brussel sprouts, calendula, snap dragons are all at their peak. Even my dill keeps re-sprouting. Winter squash that was hidden all summer stands out from the dead vines, saying, "Pick me! Pick me!" There are even some tomatoes here and there.
For the most part, the garden is in really good shape. Some of you have closed up shop for the season. Many of you have cover-cropped. You won't be sorry. Next year you will have fewer weeds and better soil.
Because this is a community garden in a very public place and not a backyard, how we care for the garden impacts others. Here are some reminders of things that need to be done:
- All stakes, tomato cages, fences, or other supports need to be removed and stored for the winter. I wish we had a place in the garden to do this, but we don't. There are quite a few of the 2' pointed stakes (extras from the corner posts on all the plots). These can be slipped in the palette slots around the outside edge of the compost bins.
- Weeds: I struggle with this because there is no cut and dried answer. Different people have different tolerances for weeds. Also, if you are returning next year, there is more leeway because you have to deal with them either now or later. The main point to keep in mind is, again, the impact on the garden as a whole. This means-be sure to remove seedy weeds (foxtail comes to mind), thistle, and the random small tree that has gained a toe hold on the edge of your plot. If you are not returning, pay more attention to clearing out the weeds so you don't leave a mess for someone else.
- If you had vines growing up the fence, pull off the dead vines.
- Observe your "property lines", especially in the flower beds. We are beginning to have some lovely perennials. After they are finished blooming, prune them back severely. Many bushy plants (like mint) benefit from being cut back to the ground The new growth will be thicker and healthier. Strawberries want to wander all over the place. Gently pull the runners up and turn them back into the plot. Ground staples work well for this.
- When you know about your plans for next year let me know. Thanks to all of you who have already done so.
- An order form for notecards was attached to your email. Let me know if you can't open it. My new computer gets a low grade in the "plays well with others" category, but I think I've got it fixed.