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October 5, 2011

Harvesting the autumn garden

-by Debra Anchors

Before the first hard frost in the fall, remove any produce remaining on your plants. Green tomatoes can be placed into paper bags and stored in a cool, dry place and will ripen slowly. Pull out all of your plants and clean up any produce which has fallen, as well as any leaves and stems Plant debris left in the garden over the winter can cause diseases to enter the soil and spread through your crops next spring.

As annual flowers fade, pull them to get a start on garden cleanup. Before composting, cut or shred remaining greens to speed decomposition.

Chives and parsley can be potted up and brought indoors for use in the winter – or freeze some. Garlic cloves planted in a pot will yield a supply of greens all winter for garnishes. You can sow seeds of basil and grow them on a sunny windowsill, too.

If a patch of asparagus or strawberries is included in next year’s garden plans, till and prepare the soil now so the bare-root plants you order this winter can be planted as early as possible once spring arrives.

Build your garden soil for next years vegetable garden by sowing a cover crop; or, amend the soil with shredded leaves and organic matter. Turn these green manures over before planting your seedlings in spring; this improves the soil’s fertility and physical condition.

If you harvest garlic, save the finest heads with the largest cloves for replanting about a month before frost is in the ground. Otherwise, order bulbs now. Prepare a sunny place and plant each clove one-to-two inches deep and six inches apart in a row; allow twelve inches between rows. Growth will occur this fall, which is great - don’t panic. Garlic is a hardy thing.

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  1. Hi :D Well it is that time of year soon. Educational article I forgot about garlic cloves
    Good reading.
    Kula May :D

    1. Hello Kula May! I am looking forward to the growing season; I am so weary of cold weather. Thank you for stopping by. -Debra


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