I get up every weekday morning to take my son to school and I have started to feel the chill in the air announcing that fall is upon us. Like every fall the end of the gardening season is in sight but before the end there is a lot of work and projects that need to be completed before the snow falls. I have a long list of things to accomplish outdoors and I have a list of indoor projects that also need to be completed. Prioritizing at this time of the year is hard for me as I am tired from the busy summer. Procrastination sounds a little better but I have the winter months to play retired.
I always plan to extend the harvest by sheltering plants from any possible freeze. At home I save a lot of black plastic and I have a routine of covering tender plants in the late evening and uncovering them in the morning. I am usually successful at having beans and tomatoes into early November. The size of the school garden will not allow me the luxury of covering the crops for an extended harvest. I need to watch the weather forecast closely and get the students and family center to pick all they can when the first frost is forecast.
Last week I spent a few hours picking produce at the West Lake garden. Here are some pictures of the bounty.
There are some empty beds where the onions used to be that have been replanted with garlic, lettuce and spinach.
We will overwinter the spinach by mulching it heavily so we can begin harvesting in March. The garlic needed to be planted in the fall as it needs a winter period to make bulbs.
I also finally found some time to turn four compost bins.
These bins have successfully composted one of the three wire rounds I had filled with old turf.
Once there are more empty beds I will have the students top of the beds with the compost and soil from the sod.
With all the green and bounty of the garden there is also the first signs of winter shown by the yellowing corn stocks.
I found some old dried corn ear which I fed to my chickens this weekend.
It took a little time for the new flock to get along but order has been restored although only two chickens actually roost at night with the rest apparently being forced to sleep on the floor of the house.
I recently picked a couple of ears of popcorn that have been left on the stocks to dry. I need to heat a little oil and see what happens.
The end of the season is bitter sweet as I am tiring of the garden chores but my mind frequently looks forward to the spring gardening season where I will again try new things and hopefully improve on some of my mistakes. All in all the gardening season has been a success. I am looking forward to bigger and better things next year.