October: Monthly Review

As I write this, I’m watching the first of the golden leaves of the black walnut trees falling like lazy snowflakes, through the windows formerly blocked by shrubbery! It’s a bit later in the morn than when I took this photo, so now the sunlight is streaming through the windows so beautifully, making me wonder why I waited so many years to ruthlessly trim those yews! The leaves are landing on frost-covered grass, because we finally had our first hard freeze Nov. 3rd and we’ve had frosty mornings since. It was only 24 degrees F when I got up this morning. I’m glad I moved the amaryllis bulbs to the basement before the freeze. They are on their sides, in the dark resting until it’s time to up-pot them and bring them into bloom, one at a time throughout the long winter weeks. The other plants needing protection are in the garage or the greenhouse. It’s on today’s schedule to take the golf cart to haul the pots to the basement, or at least to the patio where I can pull them inside quickly.

October was a rather wet month with rain occurring on 9 days! There were four days early in the month in the 80’s, 15 in the upper 70’s before it began getting cooler. Two days were in the 60’s and the remaining ten days were in the 50’s. Overall, pretty warm for October, with only one very light frost on the 27th, but so light no plants were even damaged. It seemed like a very windy second half of the month, making the cooler days feel even colder and pushing the clouds across the sky at a rapid pace. There are still lots of crops in the fields, because the rains really slowed the harvesting process.

We took one long weekend trip early in the month to southern Indiana to visit friends and see foliage, although at that point it hadn’t colored much. It was a beautiful weekend weather-wise and a fine time to be riding in a little red convertible on back roads through fields and forests. Early in the month, our daughter who lives in Italy much of the year came for a visit, and we had a great time, going to a U-Pick apple orchard and visiting my mother, baking a pie and doing some cooking together, and just catching up in person. Late in the month, we had some friends come for dinner, a rare occurrence in these days. Our county has had the highest Covid percentage in the entire state, so we’ve been taking extra precautions and care.

In the perennial and flower gardens, not much was happening other than the usual deadheading and some removal of spent annuals. The potager was where most of the action was, with lots of harvesting of the French horticultural beans, peas, snow peas, radishes, new lettuces, beets, carrots, etc. Total harvest was 107.25 lbs. That’s less than last year’s 206.5, (mostly because there was no fall crop of red cabbage planted and far, far fewer winter squash and tomatoes, which I just didn’t plant nearly as many this year on purpose.) There’s plenty, and I’m pleased.

The garlic was planted and some clean-up was begun. The bean fences were cleaned off and taken down. The obelisks were cleared of vines and stored in the pole barn for the winter. Some seeds were collected, and the flats of cuttings were moved to a sheltered spot.

The big Geo seed order was sorted and filed in planting order, except for those seeds that needed to go into the freezer for a spell. Lots of digging for the new daffodil rows was completed. And, the top edge to expand the Cutting Garden was also finished. Whenever it was too wet to dig or garden, I’ve been picking up walnuts. I think we are going to set a new record, because the ground is literally covered and they are still dropping.

The only preserving was 7 qt. of green beans and 12 pt. of pickled beets canned. Small amounts of herbs were dried and jarred, but I didn’t bother to weigh them.

So that’s October in review. Not very exciting, but it was a good, productive month. Now we’re already well into November, and my job list is huge since the big bulb order finally arrived! And there’s still thousands of walnuts to be picked up…..

About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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10 Responses to October: Monthly Review

  1. Going Batty in Wales says:

    You have just reminded me to plant garlic! There is such a lot of clearing up to do at this time of year isn’t there? And preserving and bulb planting. I am looking forward to having all that done and only the woodland stuff to do. But the planning for next year and starting things for next season before this one is finished means I am always looking forward which is probably good for me.

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  2. Peg says:

    Do you ever stop? I get tired just reading about everything you do, LOL! Seriously, I could not keep up! But I know all your hard work has huge rewards. I meant to plant some garlic this year but totally forgot. Oh well, it was not a good year for my garden anyway.

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    • carolee says:

      The wonderful thing about gardening is that you can start again next year, and it could be very different! That’s what keeps it so interesting, that and always the lure of new plants…but, if you want garlic to eat next year, you do need to plant it this fall. Just a small patch…you can do it! Still time unless the ground is frozen solid…..

      Liked by 1 person

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