By: Danna Olsen
I attended the last gardener workshop of the season at McFarland’s Community Garden. The topic of the evening was “putting your garden to bed and planning for next season.”
Katie Getty-Syoen gave us a tour of the gardens. I was particularly impressed with the children’s garden area. After running into many obstacles trying to get a school garden started, Katie got involved with a 4-H program and created a playful space with and for kids at the McFarland Community Garden. This space has a big sandbox, a desk planted with sedum, a mini produce/ lemonade stand and a whimsical garden bed. Her creativity and perseverance is an inspiration.
Below are some notes from the workshop of what to do at the end of the season.
- Before the first hard frost, make sure to harvest remaining tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, etc.
- Root vegetables should also be harvested before the ground freezes.
Remove Dead Plants
- Disease-free weeds/plants should be composted or used as mulch.
- Diseased plants should be bagged and discarded off-site.
Get Ready For Next Season
- Be ready to cover late season hardy vegetables and cold tender perennials with row cover or a plant blanket.
- Add compost to your garden plot.
- Plant cover crops (e.g. Clover, buckwheat, field peas/oats)
- Try lasagna mulch by layering paper, cardboard, used straw/hay and vegetable scraps to build both structure and fertility or layer mulch of autumn leaves or hay on your garden bed.
- Plant garlic and other spring bulbs (select the largest bulbs you can find).
- This is a good time to clean and sharper tools.