I am trying to be more organized about tracking my activity in the garden so I have a baseline to look back to next year. I cannot always remember what worked and what did not. Last year I did a planting log as I went, but that did not work so well for me. I am glad to have the resource this year, but organizationally, I want to try something new. I am going to keep a running journal each month and at the end, I am going to post the month’s happenings. So here goes for October.
October 8: I planted five beds today.
Bed 1: Yellow onion seed and white bunching onion seed.
Bed 2: Shallot seed.
Bed 3: Red Chesnok garlic and red onion sets.
Bed 4: Elephant garlic, red Chesnok garlic, and several cloves of garlic from the 2010 planting/2011 harvest (variety unknown, but I really like it).
Bed 5: Purple bunching onion seed.
October 16: Planted three beds of overwintering peas. Soaked overnight in soil inoculant.
October 22: Onions and garlic planted on the 8th are all peeking through the soil!
October 23: I planted more onions and garlic for two reasons. 1. I received a mystery shipment of more red Chesnok and did not want to waste it. 2. I had left over yellow onion sets that were still viable from last year and did not want to waste them. I planted two additional beds that were not intended for garlic and onions, but I figured what the heck, I did not have nearly enough onion this year and one can never have too much garlic. These beds are more experimental as they are onions and garlic, every other row.
That is a total of 9 beds. I have 11 and some wine barrels. I threw some left over onions in one of wine barrels, cut down some aphid infested artichoke from another, and the third has been taken over by strawberries. The three beds unmentioned are reserved, one with turnips and carrots (planted in July) in it, and the other with some butterhead lettuce (planted in July) with a lot of room for more successions of lettuce and other winter/spring veg.
October 24: We put up plastic over the lettuce and kohlrabi (sharing space with the newly sown shallots) as it was supposed to frost.
That about wraps up the planting in October.
In other garden happenings, we also processed the hop bines, removed shoots and replanted to give them away in the spring, mulched and fed and the root balls and proverbially “put them to bed for the winter.” We cut down a lot of perennial veg and also had to dig out our ill-fated Daphne bush. After fighting with it since 2007 we finally bid it farewell. Sad as it was gorgeous and smelled amazing, when it wasn’t sick or infested. And last but not least, we took out all of the annual flower plantings and spread mulch over the beds to keep the spring bulbs warm through the winter.
Tips and Notes that I need to remember:
*First frost, October 26, zone 8b. Light frost that did not cover everything.
**The turnips I sowed outside last February were perfect, they were under cover and did not get root maggot. The turnips sowed in July, outside but not under cover got root maggot.