Sunday, 14 October 2012
Temperatures are dropping.
Every cobweb that is invisible in the light of day, is highlighted by frost each morning.
As "gardening" season winds to a close, we hurry to put away all evidence of an intense, 5 month, epic food production project. The potatoes and carrots are finally dug and stored and I never want to dig another one again, LOL. The bursitis in my hip is telling me that we dug way more than last year.
Spent plants are either left standing for the birds (as is the case with the sunflowers)
or left on the garden for mulch.
We've been hauling home bagged leaves from residential streets in the nearby city (on a recent trips in) to add further winter protection (and food) for the soil. The hens are busily scratching through it all and are also gorging on a few frost damaged squash.
The greenhouse tomato plants bore HEAVILY for which we are thankful! Top producers were Bonny Best and Jaunne Flamme. It was so helpful to have a protected space to get a full harvest of tomatoes before hard frost came. Now, after the addition of compost and mulch, the flats of greens that have been waiting will go into this soil and (hopefully) produce some fresh food for at least a month or more... I'm LOVING having a greenhouse!
The strawberry runners were clipped and rooted in a new planting area a few weeks back, and we have begun to mulch this bed to protect it from winter's harsh temperatures. Soon, snow will blanket it and seal it in cozily.
A recent shopping expedition at my favourite nursery netted a large selection of trees, shrubs and perennials all at 70% off (end of season sale), but of course that meant that a lot of planting was in order...
The Honeycrisp apple tree went in on the north side of the lawn (so as not to shade the yard) then a crescent shape of Saskatoon bushes went in on the south side of the tree. They'll grow to 10 feet and provide a sheltered area in front of it for a new garden (to come). Next up is heavy mulching...
This is just the start - we have a HUGE round bale of organic flax straw to pick up from down the road which will effectively mulch and rot the grass down to form a new planting area for next year.
My potting bench is clean and organized, ready for next season. The tools are packed away after a long hard workout.
Aside from all the outdoor work around Little Home In The Country, I'm knee deep into my Organic Master Gardener Course. I'm learning more about ecology and soil than I ever thought possible. I'm humbled (as we all should be) at how incredibly diverse and complex the foundation of life on this planet truly is.
Once things settle down next week, I hope to be back here on a more regular basis. Until then, we press on to finish preparations for winter!