The weather is getting COLD! We had our first freeze here in Oregon at the end of October, which is about a month ahead of schedule. I have been preparing my garden for the winter and finishing up for the year. Here’s what’s happening in the garden this month:
Carrots are one of the few crops still in the ground. We have quite a few carrots left this season, which is a real treat. I like to leave them in the ground because it acts like a big refrigerator, keeping them crisp and crunchy to use over the winter. Although the tops are starting to die back, the roots are big and healthy. It is nice knowing that I can go outside and dig some fresh carrots whenever I need them!
I planted our garlic at the beginning of October. We had some very nice weather and it has green shoots that are already a few inches tall! Next year I will plant it a little later to prevent this because the green shoots make the bulbs more susceptible to winter injury. I will continue to mulch around them with leaves to insulate and protect them over the winter.
Related Post: How to Plant Garlic in the Fall
My peas are doing great! They are about a foot tall now and very healthy. The slugs and snails have been bothering them a little so I have been putting some slug bait out to take care of the problem. I will mulch around them as soon as the weather gets colder. I am looking forward to earlier peas next year!
Related post: How to Overwinter Peas
We had so much fun this year growing popcorn! We harvested it last month and then let the cobs dry in the garage for a few weeks before removing the kernels. My kids enjoyed helping with this part!
Since the seeds were still not all of the way dry yet, I spread them out on a big pan and set them on top of the cabinets where they would not be disturbed so they could continue to dry. I tested a few kernels every few days until they popped well. Then I transferred them to pint jars for longer term storage.
We got around 4 cups of popcorn kernels from our small 4 x 4 inch raised bed, which does not include the 10 or so ears that we saved for decoration around the house. It was such a fun thing to include in our garden this year!
Getting the Garden Ready for Winter
I have been starting to rake leaves and scatter them over the garden. I also spread some lawn clippings around to enrich the soil for next year. Once all of the leaves have fallen at the end of November I will cover most of the garden (but not where I have things planted) with a large tarp to help hold the leaves in place so the worms can go to work! As much as I love working in the garden, I am looking forward to a few months off!
Are you done with your gardening chores for the year? Let me know how things are going in the comments below. As always, Happy Gardening!