The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Monday, October 29, 2012

Late October Garden Chores

Well, although I adore autumn, getting the garden ready for winter is not one of my favorite autumn tasks.  I do love harvest season, hot as it may be in late summer!

This year, October garden chores included a few changes, and a new chore.

First of all, Joseph and Thomas helped to transplant the two perennial oregano plants we have had growing in our veggie garden for several years.

Although they are perennial and not supposed to be that flavorful, we have found them to be just that--very yummy in sauces and other dishes.  Since the critters seem to leave them alone, I decided they would do fine in my front yard flower garden.

They are prolific growers--not in seeding and spreading themselves, but in producing the fragrant, flavorful leaves--so I harvest them throughout the summer and autumn.  Sometimes I harvest and dry the leaves, and sometimes I let the plant go to flower, then cut them for display in vases indoors--so pretty with its delicate purple flowers.

I think they go well with the beard-tongue, which you can see still flowering in pink in the background below.

Here's what I do with the flowering oregano; it's in a vase on my fireplace mantel:

After the oregano was transplanted, Thomas set about digging up any garlic that had begun to re-grow from dropped seeds, and transplanting the seedlings to the area where we had just dug up the oregano.  (We had filled in the holes with some extra compost we had left over from spring.)

On our last sunny and very warm autumn day (October 24), my friend Lori's son Bryan came over and helped work some manure into next year's tomato bed.  He also worked in the rest of the leftover compost, and then covered my strawberry plants with straw to protect them for the winter.  (The straw-covering was our new chore for the year.)

In the below photo, you may not be able to see it but the guys took some bird netting (for protecting plants from birds; I bought it at Home Depot), and secured it over the straw.  They innovatively used a stapler to secure the netting to the sides of the raised bed.  :)

They took the leftover straw and covered some of the walkways with it.  I like the straw better than grass clippings, which we have been using in the past.  The straw seems to keep the walkways drier.  We'll see how it works come spring and wet weather!

Here is the final overview of our "winterized" garden, complete with straw-covered walkways (until we ran out of straw!):

That evening, the sun went down behind incoming clouds which brought rain and a 30-degree temperature drop.

I was very thankful for Bryan's hard work with the compost and hay, and for Thomas' and Joseph's hard work transplanting herbs and garlic so we could expand the garden next year!

Back to life,

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