Early October is just a frantic time of year, because every free minute is taken up with the total changeover of the garden. I’m nearly done, now. I’ve only got two beds left to plant - more garlic and more shallots. Then Tom and I will cover them with floating row cover, and we’ll call the winter garden complete.
The top of the piano is full of fruit waiting to ripen and/or eat and/or preserve. It actually felt good to chop out the tomato vines, haul bags of compost, and put fresh seeds and starts into the ground.
The greenhouse is empty once again, and the green bin full of compostable cups and popsicle stick labels. The last of the peppers have been sliced up and frozen. More sriracha has been made and is fermenting on my kitchen desk. Next to it are some seed potatoes on which I’m waiting for more sprouts. Next to that are seeds drying on paper towels - Delicata squash and Shishito peppers, bought at a roadside farmstand this past weekend (they were delicious and I want to grow them next year in my own garden). Next to that is the jar of beans I’m slowly adding to as the bean vines dry. My desk is full of non-desky things.
Some flowers are in their element - zinnias, tithonia, rudbeckias, cuphea. Others are starting to dry up and produce seeds, such as the native sunflowers I grow in my woodland garden.
I started a new herb bed near the blueberries and bought (and planted) some Eryngium planum, common name Sea Holly, which I recently found on a school field trip. I’ve been looking for this plant for ages. It looks like a blue thistle, but it isn’t quite as ouchy as thistle, and the bees adore it.
I’m pooped, but the winter garden is in, for the most part. Now the weather can change and we’ll be ready for it. Meanwhile the warm days and cool nights are perfect for all the greens and brassicas and root veg, which will get a good start now and then overwinter beautifully. As soon as the fall rains come, I’ll sow the spring wildflower seeds in the pollinator beds. I’ve already started planting sweet peas.
I haven’t even had time to make the October wreath - I’ll get to that as soon as I’m able - I think I’ll use trimmings from lemon verbena and culinary sage.