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October and November are some of our favourite months of the year. The garden is finished, the tools have been picked up, the wood room is full and we are feeling tired but so very content.
If we don’t get much snow, we can still get a lot accomplished outside. And, since the “end of season” work has already been done, these projects are all little “extras”. Who doesn’t like getting a few extras accomplished? I know we do!
This is how the garden looked in late September. Lots of produce harvested, the garlic not yet planted and kale still going strong!
You can see the tall Asparagus on the left; that plot has been in for about 9 years now and we enjoy lots of Asparagus early each spring.
The Fall colours are so beautiful here; this picture doesn’t do them justice at all.
End of Season Work
We amend all the garden beds with really well composted manure. A side benefit of raising grass fed beef – we amend our soil for free. We can also add good layers of leaves.
We try hard to get bare garden areas covered as soon as possible with composted manure; then we can seed some Fall Rye and get it growing before the weather gets too cold.
Sometimes, early November already sees six inches of snow on the ground. Other times, we don’t see much snow until into December. Time will tell as to when we get the first big dump of snow.
Garden Tool Maintenance
People who live in the Cariboo (or long time readers of our site) will know that one of the most important things for us to do in mid-October is to pick everything up that is laying around outside. Gardeners are notorious for having garden tools scattered everywhere.
There are hoses to be taken apart, coiled up and put away in the barn. Garden timers and sprinklers need to be put inside for the winter months.
Shovels, rakes, hoes and spades need to be moved from the garden fence line to a winter storage place under the porch or down at the barn.
We tend to gather things up over a few weeks and if we can’t get them brought down to the barn, we at least leave them on the pathway to the barn. This way if we go down to feed the chickens and are empty handed, we can pick a few things up to bring along with us. It is amazing at how long this process actually takes.
Invariably, we have a lot more tools and equipment just hanging around in the yard than we think we do. T posts and temporary chicken fencing need to be taken down or the snow will destroy the fencing.
Protecting the Greenhouse
We tarp over the Greenhouse in an attempt to make it last “just one more year”. This will be a losing battle over the coming winter. We still have the original plastic from 2007 on here!
It is now finally falling apart and come Spring we will have to replace it. Want to read about how we built our Greenhouse on the cheap? Ours cost less than $200 and the frame is still good!
(That’s an older picture; we have no snow here yet.)
Keep watering shrubs and plants
We continue watering any transplanted shrubs and small trees – Fall can be very dry here and it is easy to think that the watering can stop because it is much cooler, but that can often be a fatal mistake.
There are lots of things to be done to wrap up the season and once we get that accomplished, we can sit back and start to relax.
We have always tried to run our farm on a seasonal basis, which means we have very busy Springs and Summers, but much slower Winters. We are able to relax and travel if we want.