Hello fellow gardeners,
Fall is officially here, and plants are slowing down at the Hastings North Community Garden. It's time to pull up our yellowed tomato vines and cover the soil with mulch for the winter.
Here are a few garden updates for October:
We're looking for photos of the garden! Got a nice shot of your bean plants, blowing in the wind? Sunflowers? Arugula? Gardeners? To enter the contest, please send your top pic to firstname.lastname@example.org before November 1st. (One pic per gardener, please, and be sure to label your JPEG with your first and last name).
The winner will get their beds for free for the 2017 growing season.
Despite the chilly weather, there is still good food to harvest from the garden. Remember to pluck those last tomatoes, that last pepper, before it's too late. We also want to avoid rotting vegetables in the beds; this tends to attract rats.
In preparation for winter, we ask that everyone do their part in clearing all dead plant matter from their beds before November 1st. Green waste goes in the black compost bins. If one bin is full, please put your green waste in a bin that is not full.
PUTTING BEDS TO REST
The final stage in putting your beds to rest for the winter is to cover them with mulch. We will provide leaves for this purpose by the middle of October, in a big pile in the middle of the garden. We ask that you put leaves on your own bed, and do so before we shut off the water at the end of this month. You are welcome to plant a cover crop (like clover) instead of mulching, but even over-winter crops (like kale and garlic) benefit from a good couple inches of mulch. See Garden Tips for a run-down of the process.
To avoid freezing pipes, we'll be shutting off the water and pulling up hoses during the last week of October.
GROWING TIPS: PREPARING YOUR BEDS FOR WINTER... PLUS GARLIC GROWING!!!
The goal with winter preparation is to protect your plants, and, more importantly, your soil, from the damage of winter weather. In BC, months of continuous rain can erode and compress your soil, washing out valuable nutrients and turning it acidic. Good winter preparation will help keep your soil in condition, add several weeks of growth to your garden in the late fall and early spring, and suppress weeds.
Here are a few simple steps:
- Remove diseased plants or plant parts (like powdery mildew).
- Thin your winter sprouts out (like carrots, radishes, beets).
- Remove any plants that have stopped producing (such as corn, zucchini, tomatoes, beans).
- Add some organic matter (like compost or manure, which can be purchased from any garden or hardware store).
- Cover your beds (with a wholesome layer of leaves, which we'll be providing).
October is a great month for planting garlic, as the bulbs will overwinter deep in the soil and sprout early next spring. If you've never planted garlic before, check out this helpful article from Abundant City (http://shiftinggrowth.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=764a1db14c3c23e7a865a5214&id=80278d2fbd&e=14820afcc3) . Here's the accompanying video:
http://shiftinggrowth.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=764a1db14c3c23e7a865a5214&id=2fa468d4b2&e=14820afcc3 More good stuff from Rebecca Cuttler!
Garden Manager email@example.com shiftinggrowth.com
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