It’s been a wet winter so far and winter isn’t even officially here till winter solstice on Dec 21st. The picture above was at the beginning of the last snow that came in on Nov 21 and ended up dumping 10 inches of snow with 16 inch deep snow drifts. The place has been a muddy mess as it melts but the plants sure love the moisture and for that I am grateful.
I’m still cleaning out my garden! Got caught off guard with the first snow storm in early October. The picture above is from that storm before the cleanup. The soil looks great in the veggie garden now that all the snow has melted inside the garden. It hasn’t frozen solid yet so pulling the old crops has been easy in the moist soil but time consuming and I want to get it done before the soil freezes. Last year I waited till spring to clean out the garden but feel that it just makes more work in spring for me so I work now when the days are nicer before the ground freezes. I was out of town for half of November, hence the late clean up.
I feel like hibernating with the short days and low light. ZZzzz!
Three boxes of green tomatoes (now ripening inside), Butternut squash, Pink Glass Gem corn harvested Oct 9
The veggie garden is done for the season. Harvesting was intense since the first freeze came about a week earlier this year.
Onions and sweet potatoes and other crops (not pictured) harvested this past Sunday
I harvested the last of the warm season crops like corn, tomatoes, raspberries, squash before the very first hard freeze on Oct 10.
Then this past Sunday, Oct 20th, I finished harvesting the last of my cool season crops-carrots, fennel, kale, onions, kale, Swiss chard, cabbage and sweet potatoes (more on sweet potatoes later). All are inside now. I have so much produce, I brought in some tables to put everything on. I’ve been sharing much of the harvest with friends.
I will clean up the dead vegetation before the ground freezes which will be sometime in early December.
I once waited to clean up the garden in the spring but found it was too much work, what with adding amendments in the soil and planting a new garden, so now I do it in the fall.
This past weekend was pretty decent weather wise but is due to change again midweek with a big cold front coming in. Yeow! The nights will be colder with temps dropping in the teens again. This winterlike weather has caught me off guard although I don’t know why! It’s certainly time for colder weather here but I guess I was lulled by the wonderful, warm days we had in November until a few days ago.
My garden does not look like this—it is a mess this year! This was last year’s pic after it was cleaned up!
So knowing this, I rushed out to the garden last week and started pulling up all the dead tomato plants. I have to pull them before the soil freezes or I won’t be able to remove them until spring. Last Thursday, I yanked the last of them out—37 dead tomato plants in their cages, sprawled everywhere. Not a pretty site! But at least the roots are pulled out of the ground. I still have to take the plants out of the cages and clean up the ground and add compost. Ay, caramba!
It is best to clean up our gardens in the fall earlier (listen to your own words, Jannine) and remove any dead plants and debris so they don’t harbor bad bugs for the winter. I am really late this year but it will get done.
I also harvested the last of the carrots, beets, kale and leeks last week so the garden is officially kaput although clean up will continue next week.
After the garden is cleaned up, I will tuck myself inside with the new catalogs coming in and dream about next season’s garden!