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.