Impossibly true, but another month has passed! November was a mixed bag weather-wise, with record cold early in the month, two snowfalls and a few days in the upper 50’s tucked here and there. There were wicked winds with 60mph gusts late in the month, which pretty well eliminated the need for raking! Thus the gardening schedule was certainly eased due to shortening days, inclement weather, and the increasing number of bare beds. Add to that numerous traveling days for “family stuff” and compared to the hectic pace of summer, November seemed like a vacation of sorts. If I had to describe it briefly, “moving” seems like a good word. All the braids of shallots, onions and garlic were moved to the allium rack in the garage. All the baskets of winter squash, pumpkins, etc. were moved to the garage also.
Before a forecasted hard freeze (successive nights in the mid-teens with little daytime warm-up) carrots, beets and leeks were dug, packed into buckets and moved to the garage. On a prettier day fall decor was packed up and moved to the basement or pole barn, and the snowmen were moved into place in the Front Garden and along the potager’s east fence, along with garlands and big red bows. The poly-tunnel parts were moved from the pole barn and reassembled over a bed of spinach. (You can see that in the top photo.) All the deck furniture was moved and stacked in the gazebo. The potager’s green chairs and tables were moved into the Lady Cottage. The succulents were moved into the basement. The tender potted plants were moved from the greenhouse into the basement. The fairy houses and furniture were packed together and moved in there as well.
The potager’s arches were moved to the north-south central path, so that crop rotation takes place. (If one looks very closely at the top photo, they are barely visible.) I like them better east-west, but it’s a good plan for crop health to move them annually, so I do. All of the dead annuals were clipped from the flower beds and moved to the compost heap, except for the Addition Garden and Cutting Garden, which I just haven’t done yet. The potager still needs lots of clean-up as well. Hopefully we’ll still have some nice days.
Over 14,000 black walnuts were picked up and moved out of the flower beds, sidewalk and lawn…and we’re still not done! That would portend a bitter winter….again!
The other task was bulb-planting. Only a small start was made in October, so a big push was made to get them in before Thanksgiving. There were 955 new bulbs, but I dug and moved a few dozen Dutch iris and daffodil bulbs that were too thick last spring into areas that needed more early color, so well over 1,000 were planted again this year. After the bulbs were in, a truck load of mulch was spread over the disturbed areas, and over the entire Front Garden and potager exterior border to make it look tidier and to help prevent erosion.
The second seed order (Pinetree) for the upcoming year was placed to take advantage of the Black Friday discount. Since I don’t need many seeds this time, there will probably be only one additional order later on.
The only preserving this month was pickling and canning 5 pints of beets. All of the pumpkins harvested and used for fall decor were baked and mashed. The 4 pints that were left after the pies were baked for Thanksgiving were tucked into the freezer.
For those interested in numbers, the November harvest was 38.5 lbs. (compared to 2 lbs. in 2017 and 13 in 2018) so I’m getting better at extending the harvest by planting late crops that can withstand the early frosts. Crops harvested this month were beets, radishes, leeks, carrots, parsley, kholrabi, broccoli, spinach, radicchio, kale, and leaf lettuce and various small bits of herbs. With this month’s addition, the potager has produced over 1,000 pounds of food! Not bad for an old lady and a smallish space!
So, there are still those two gardens to clean, and lots of trimming and tidying to do in the potager’s beds if the weather cooperates, but if it doesn’t, I’m not going to fret. There are Christmas cards to write, basketball games, parties and travels in December, so some things may just have to wait until spring, and that’s okay with me now. Hope your Thanksgiving was filled with blessings, and that you took time to notice each one!