preparing for winter
On Sunday I cleaned out most of the dead plants from my garden. We have have several hard frosts and only the very hardy plants are still alive. I piled the debris in two places in my garden since my compost bin is already overfilled. I'll have to move the piles to the community bins later.
I did not get time to plant a cover crop this year. It will make it easier in the spring to turn bare soil.
After the cleanup, I dug my potatoes bed. I've been digging potatoes all summer, but knew I had missed a few places. So I carefully dug the whole bed three or four times to see it I could find all the potatoes. (I never get them all - there are always some that sprout the next spring.) I got a nice bag full. I will have plenty for tonight's Shepard's Pie.
The soil was so beautiful and rich in the dug potatoes bed. I removed rocks as I dug the spuds. Another gardener came by a marveled at the soil's beauty with me. Really wonderful.
My final job for the day was to plant garlic. I'm even later than my usual lateness this year. It never seems to matter how late I am, the garlic comes out great. I have heard an old saying that garlic should be planted on the shortest day of the year. I think that may not be true at our latitude, especially since the ground is generally frozen by Dec 21. But yesterday was a very short day, sunset just after 4, since the clocks went back the night before. I planted 75 cloves of garlic. I'm planning to go back and plant a couple more heads to bring it up to about 100 cloves planted. For the past few years I have been planting 100 cloves. It fills up a whole 10 X 4 bed. We eat 90 heads over the course of the year and I plant 10 (10%)(about 10 cloves per head). Its nice not to have to buy expensive seed garlic more than once to get the crop going. The heads seem to get bigger every year.