Friday, November 11, 2022

Another year

I put the garden to bed for the winter the other day. After a cool fall, the last few weeks were unseasonally warm. We had a hard frost in September, two weeks earlier than normal and a month earlier than last year. Then, it stayed cold for a while before warming up.

They say that Halloween was the warmest in 22 years! And my Brussels sprouts loved it, as did my kale. I had forgotten to pull out the growing tip on the Brussels sprouts at the end of August. You do that to stop the plant from putting all its energy into growing taller; it redirects that energy into fattening up the existing sprouts. I didn't do it until the frost, so three-to-four weeks late. I figured I wouldn't get very many this year. But, the warmer weather in late October and early November sure helped! I ended up with over double what I thought I was going to get! (You can leave them on the stock until late December–early January, but I usually harvest them in early November in case of snow—the garden gate won't open once it snows.)

The only thing in the garden now is some late-planted kale that I'll keep harvesting for my soup each day until snow blocks the garden gate. It might survive the winter and be around for early spring; that's happened before. But, I don't count on it and start some in the basement in March to transplant in April. Meanwhile, I've frozen enough to keep me supplied until May.

In general, it was a good garden year. I froze sufficient broccoli, beans, tomatoes, summer squash, and bok choi for the winter. We ate more than our fill of peas fresh off the vine; the raspberries gave us enough to eat, but not enough to freeze. I have onions and garlic enough for most, if not the whole winter. We ended up with around twenty delicata, so we'll be eating that until the end of December. I have rhubarb in the freezer, too, for some nice tart rhubarb sauce on a cold winter morning.

So, the garden to bed, last night I started looking through the latest Johnny's catalog, making a list of stuff I need to try or reorder. Next, I'll go through Fedco's catalog and compare. I like to order my seeds before January—for two reasons: (1) to avoid stock-outs in the spring (this year my green beans were back-ordered until just before planting date; I was concerned), and (2) so I can start stuff in the basement in March.

I also like to order from other seed companies, like Baker Creek, and a few others I can't recall right now.

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