It’s that time of year when the mornings have a chill in the air. October has arrived and my work in the garden is slowing down. And I am okay with that. It’s been a long dry summer and I won’t miss hauling the hose from one garden to the next. I am more than ready to put my feet up for a couple of months. They always say the garden season comes to a close but many of us are already planning next year’s garden. With the planting of garlic this month comes the decision of which bed to plant it in. After all, it will grow for nine months so planning must be done carefully so it doesn’t interfere with the spring crops.
As I walk the fall garden I see the mushrooms have arrived in the lawn. They are here for just a short time so I love to photograph them as they disappear as quickly as they arrive. The leaves will soon begin to fall and provide us with mulch for the garden beds. There is nothing better than the resources given to us by nature.
The tender plants are all in the greenhouse until next spring. The heater will be turned on when it nears freezing but that may not be until December. For now I will make sure the temperature inside the greenhouse is at a minimum of 5C so the echeveria stays healthy. So far I have repotted all the annual geraniums, fuchsias, echeverias, colacasias and kalanchoes. The geranium foliage has been cut back as the leaves will fall off anyway. Bringing the geraniums inside means I will be able to do some cuttings in early spring once the plants start to grow. There is nothing better than free plants!
Outside in the kitchen garden a few crops are still waiting to be harvested. The sweet potatoes will be dug up by the end of October and salad greens enjoyed as long as they don’t get frost. Carrots and turnips will be left in the ground and used as we need them.
The dahlias are blooming like there is no tomorrow and I haven’t the heart to bring them in yet. It’s best to let them get a touch of frost they say but mine never do. I always try to start drying off the tubers when we have a few days of sun in the forecast. I carefully dig up the tubers with a pitchfork and lay them outside on plant trays to dry in the sun. Over the week I loosen as much soil from between the tubers that I can. Soil left on the tubers can lead to rot in storage and I sure don’t want that. Each dried tuber will be tagged with its name before packing them away in layers of peat moss. The boxes will be stored in our already crowded garage where it’s nice and cool.
As the garden season winds down I am still collecting seeds for next year. I will have lots of seeds for sale this winter. I begin packing them into envelopes towards mid-October. I love growing from seed as the seeds I harvest from the garden are acclimatized to my garden and always do well.
Over the next few weeks I am speaking at several different garden clubs on various garden topics. It’s what I love to do. To inspire one more person to plant a seed, touch the soil or smell the flowers fills my heart with renewed optimism that yes, our earth will continue to be made beautiful.