Sunday, October 23

Note to Caroline: My Portland Community Garden is put to bed for winter

Hi Caroline, hope all is well with you and your gardens. Here is a photo of one of two pumpkins that grew in the garden this year. At least it is orange. The other one that is not pictured is just huge, but it is still green. News here is that our first frost might be here this week.
As you know I have been closing or "putting my garden to bed" as people here like to call it. Basically you can garden here all year, but like me many people want to take a break. Since winter means rain, rain and more rain, one priority here is to protect any nutrients in the soil washing away. I did leave a few plants to over-winter. The Chard and Rhubarb are still in the ground in addition to a couple of Broccoli plants.
Here is a bed that has been put to rest.
It does not look to pretty, but underneath the hay is a layer of hops, veggies and leaves. The goal is to remove the hay come spring and have rich soil underneath.

I added burlap coffee bean bags(popular here) to the pathways and put down mulch over it to try to prevent weeds. They don't seem to die here with the mild weather. I added a cover crop (Crimson Clover & Rye) to the rest of the beds, again to suppress winter weeds and to cut down soil erosion from the rain.

I pulled out and composted the rest of the the tomato & squash plants. Here is a photo of one of the heirloom tomatoes that just did not ripen here. Hope to hear from you soon. I can't believe the Holiday Season is right around the corner, but I can hardly wait for the new seed catalogs to arrive.
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