Thursday, October 29, 2009

Winterization bearing down

The deadline at the Minton Stable Garden for winterizing one's plot is November 1. By this date gardeners are expected to cut back perennials, clear out annuals, and remove all of the fencing, tools, supports, bags of soil, and other items. The water has been shut off for the season, and only one more work day has been scheduled for the unfortunate few still needing to fulfill their four-hour requirement (or else their plot will be given to one of the thirty people on the waiting list).However, my raspberries and broccoli haven't received the memo. The rainy fall conditions have prolonged the growing season for both, with new berries for the former and the continued production of sideshoots for the latter. Otherwise, most everything else is ready to go. I had forgotten (or have been too embarrassed) to take a photo of my bean supports that fell over weeks ago. The tomatoes and peas are gone, and the perennials have been deadheaded but ready to be trimmed back completely. In about another week, material to be composted offsite will probably overflow on this tarp.One of my post ideas for earlier this summer was to showcase the elaborate supports built by my fellow gardeners. Some have been taken down already while others have the skeletal remains of whatever they supported clinging to them. Grotesquely bulging and overripe beans. Blighted tomato stems rotting against metal rings. If not slimy to the touch then crinkling from dryness. It's a shame I never got around to executing this idea, but there's always next season.

Here are a few photos of what's still up. A lean-to that the creator had intended for cucumbers (notice the nice brussel sprouts next to it).One substantial setup that once had peas climbing up strings, and still supporting the highest cosmos I've ever seen.One of several pea trellises made from pipes, broomsticks, and chicken wire.And one of my favorites: the arch connecting two raised beds designed for the handicapped. As in previous years, that will stay up throughout the winter, poking out from the snowbanks.


Dan said...

That arch trellis is pretty cool, wish I had one of them in my garden! The season definitely is winding down now. Without season extenders most things will be finished in a few weeks. But like you said there always is next season.

Daphne said...

Well at least it will be a warm day tomorrow to clean up. That is my one beef with community gardens. All the rules. Usually I like some rules. It keeps things orderly, but if your broccoli is still producing you should be able to keep it in. Or you should be able to have a cold frame for the winter. I looked a the Arlington Community Garden rules (since I'm trying to move there) and you can't plant perennials because they don't let you keep your plot from year to year. And you can't plant until mid April. I keep thinking, what about peas and spinach.

Sally said...

Dan: You're lucky you get to use season extenders. I'd consider them at home if I had more sun to get things going late summer.

Daphne: An exception has just been made at the MSG--veggies that are still producing can remain until they're finished, as long as the other plants are cleared out and other rules are followed. That seems reasonable.

I have never heard of a garden not letting people keep their plots for more than a year. Must be because of high demand? Hmm. Maybe you can get the peas and spinach started in pots or indoors, but I think they usually do much better if started in the ground.

Giulietta the Muse said...

Hi Sally, Is it sad to bid the garden adieu for the winter? Or do you like the break? I hope to garden next summer because I want to control what gets dumped on my food. Have you read A Nation of Farmer's? It's the greatest book. Got my own copy.