Even though we’ve yet to have our first frost or freeze, the calendar says it is time to start many of the annual winterizing tasks associated with gardening. For instance, I need to replace the row cover material on the cold frames, since all have tears and holes or else the material is missing altogether. I use the row cover material to provide frost and wind protection, though it won’t hold up if we get a lot of snow.
I have five cold frames set up along the east side of the greenhouse. Three of them are in good shape, while two need to be replaced. I doubt I will get around to building any frames until spring, so I will have to baby two of them along for another winter. The cold frame beds hold a mix of summer and fall veggies, including kohlrabi, lettuce, kale and basil. I will pull the basil and plant spinach in the one bed once the transplants are ready, which should be in a week or so. Until then, it is nice to have basil here in November!
Another chore I’ve been working on is bringing the container plants inside. I’ve got quite a few peppers I plan on overwintering indoors, plus I want to dig up the lemongrass and lemon verbena plants I have growing behind the greenhouse. I also want to move a couple of containers of mint into the greenhouse, which should extend the season for them a month or so, and give us fresh mint early next spring. I have some potted rosemary that I will also move indoors, though it can take some frost. Since many of the peppers have fruit on them, I will prune them back after I harvest the peppers.
My wife has been busy weeding and mulching the perennial beds. That’s our Wild Garden in the below photo, which has plants to attract and feed butterflies, hummingbirds and pollinators. She really has it looking good!
I always plant several pots of Wave petunias around the garden, and Easy Wave Red Velour has come back with a flush of late growth and blossoms.
I usually plant pineapple sage for the pollinators. It’s a late bloomer, and the butterflies and bees have been loving it lately. I occasionally use the leaves for tea, but it’s mostly there for the wildlife. It sometimes overwinters here, but usually I have to replant it in spring.
Also blooming now are the Black-Eyed Susans. The butterflies and bees love the flowers, while the birds will eat the seeds later on.
My next big gardening task is to get the garlic planted. This year I am planting a few shallots and the I’itoi multiplier onions along with the garlic. I hope to get them all in the ground by the weekend.
It’s hard to believe that winter is just around the corner. Pineapple Sage is something that I haven’t grown in a long time. Seeing your plant brings memories of its lovely scent. It makes me want to grow it again. I may be trying to overwinter a couple of baccatum plants this year too, the Aji Amarillo Grande is loaded with green peppers that I doubt will ripen before the first frost hits. I hope they taste good green. Perhaps a head start with an overwintered plant will allow me to get some ripe peppers next year.
Pineapple sage doesn’t overwinter here. We must move our tubs into the greenhouse.
I always think I’ll be done my garden cleanup by mid-Oct, but usually I’m still at it in November – all those little jobs add up! I’ve already planted my garlic but the shallots are still to go in. Today I’m doing a preliminary plan of next years layout so that I know where to put them.
And thanks for the reminder about the mint – apparently we are in for a “typical” cold winter so I’m planning on potting up some chocolate mint as it’s unlikely to survive, especially as it’s in a container.
I’ve never heard of pineapple sage, but it is really pretty. My black-eyed Susans were done blooming a few weeks ago. I always have mixed feelings about garden cleanup, but it does feel good to wind things down for the season. I’ve been contemplating cold frames, but haven’t committed yet.
It’s so nice to see those petunias at this time of the year. They are lovely! I keep saying I’ll set up some cold frames soon, but never quite get around to it. Maybe next year 🙂
I had also wanted to try bringing a pepper plant indoors for the winter but even those in the greenhouse had died while I was away. Ah well …