November: Monthly Review

The potager in early November

“Better late than never” applies to this monthly review post. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been scrambling to get items crossed off the “outdoor job list” before the snow flies again and the ground freezes solid. For some reason, November seems like a long time ago! I’ve had to re-read my journal entries to remind myself what things happened during that holiday month.

As you can see from the photo above, the potager was pretty bare because most crops had been harvested by the end of October in anticipation of frost. The potager was rather a neglected child for much of the month because I was busy elsewhere planting bulbs as they arrived, beginning with Dutch iris in the Cutting Garden and Addition Garden. I did get plastic on the berry boxes just before we had a hard freeze on Nov. 3rd so the lettuce, spinach, parsnips, salsify, and other crops to be wintered over wouldn’t be damaged. All of the other produce (beans, peas, squashes, pumpkins, peppers, tomatoes, etc.) had been collected and stored in the garage well before that occurred, but the freeze did kill all the non-perennial plants, which then required cutting off and toting to compost piles. Wheelbarrows filled with blackened peppers and tomato plants, bean vines and even the pea vines all had to come out. By then, another bulb order had arrived, this one mostly tulips for the gardens around the house and the Potager’s exterior border. I gave each of those gardens a good clean-up and tidy edging, too.

The greenhouse door was replaced this month.

Thanks to lovely neighbors who came to help me, the new replacement door for the greenhouse was finally installed. It was too heavy for me to lift, let alone hold in place and put in screws. With their help, it took about 15 minutes!

There were the usual meetings and our garden club decorated the Historical Museum by making lots of greenery swags, wreaths and garlands. I also spent A LOT OF TIME picking up black walnuts in the front yard. I’m certain this years total will be blowing away any from past years and I’m not nearly finished…:(

There wasn’t much seeding in November, although a couple of rows of spinach were planted, mainly to use up the seed, since old spinach seed would be fairly worthless by spring. More time was spent working on seed orders and planning next year’s crops than tending the last of this year’s crops!

Our first snow arrived Nov. 14th but didn’t last long, so that week I dug all the dahlias, cleaned and stored them, moved plants from the greenhouse to the basement (the greenhouse is not heated over the winter) built one new and two replacement beds for the potager, stained them and installed them. The new one is now filled with tulips for cutting next spring.

The next week I harvested all the beets that were a reasonable size, made the last batch of pickled beets, and roasted some for dinner. Also put up the Christmas tree and did a bit of outdoor decorating. I also spent two days in the basement, sawing some 8′ shelves into 5′ and 3′ sections so I could get them through the door and installed in a back room. That gives me more storage in the dark for cut flowers to condition next year, and more space to work when I begin seeding again in the main room. I also gave the seedling room a good sweeping and cleaned the light stand shelves.

Didn’t decorate as much this year since none of the kids are coming, and we didn’t have our annual tree decorating party yet again! Maybe next year???

I baked several pumpkins; used some for a pie, and put the rest of the puree in the freezer. The total preserving for November was 10 pints (pickled beets and pumpkin.) The total harvest for November was a mere 10 lbs., mainly beets, lettuce, radishes, snow peas, and various herbs for holiday cooking. We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner (just the two of us) and I spent a quiet afternoon watching football, placing seed orders to take advantage of Black Friday sales, and making lists. The rest of the week I planted the last of the bulbs, made lunch and a cake and went to spend her birthday with my mother. And then we heard about Omicron, and the wind kinda went out of my sails! Did that happen to you as well?

So, that’s the wrap-up for November, and here we are already half-way through December! It’s a busy time, but I am taking photos and have several posts in the works. Til next time, Happy Holidays!


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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3 Responses to November: Monthly Review

  1. Going Batty in Wales says:

    I am way behind on clearing up the garden but my neighbour has delivered the first load of manure so will have to get going on it soon. A gardener’s work is never done! it i a shame you will not be able to have family over for Christmas but I hope you have a lovely one even so.


  2. Lauren says:

    That I didn’t even THINK to look at Black Friday sales on seeds is now horrifying me!


    • carolee says:

      Oh, don’t be horrified! Seeds are still a good value, and there may be more sales. However, I would advise you to order earlier rather than later if there are specific items you want. Many suppliers have less stock than usual, due to flooding in the Netherlands where much seed is grown, fires and floods in other major seed growing areas, hurricanes, lack of workers due to Covid for harvesting, processing and packaging, and shipping problems that continue. So far, I’m finding most varieties I wanted, but a few I’m having to substitute.

      Liked by 1 person

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