Monday, September 28, 2009

First Frost - Shutting down the garden

PeterC saw the first frost for our area, in an open field just a few blocks up the road, on Friday. Dead on schedule. Pretty darned amazing if you ask me. Our yard was frost free because we have several trees, but I do think some of the taller plants in the garden got a touch of it. The higher leaves on the volunteer pumpkin/gourd (looks like a pumpkin but producing bizarre looking gourds) have turned yellow as have the cucumber plants.

That means it is the end of gardening season. Everything that is still doing well, like the carrots, beets, and second planting of spinach will continue on for a few more weeks. The beans are almost done drying on the vine and will be picked soon for storage. The squash are done, pulled up and the soil turned. The broccoli is nothing more than chicken treats now. The sweet potatoes never bloomed but in another month we will find out if the planter idea worked.

It is this time of year that I really wish we had a proper root cellar. With all the potatoes, beets, gourds, and carrots we need someplace to keep them so they will last through the winter. In the past we have tried keep them on the stairs to the basement but it just gave the mice unlimited food. Maybe this year I will wrap the produce in newspaper and straw and store in the garage. I know they will keep out there for a few weeks longer than they will in the kitchen, maybe even into January. Even a couple of extra months is better than nothing at all.

No comments: