Thursday, November 13, 2014

Emptying the Beds

These last few days were busy in the garden. We are expected to get a good freeze on Friday and Saturday nights. The ground may or may not thaw out again this year, so I needed to get all those root crops out of the ground.

Tuesday was beautiful so I wanted to get a good chunk of the carrots done. I got half of them picked and stored. I did the rest today. I'm not going to talk about that much as I'll do a carrot post soon.

Wednesday I cleaned up the broccoli bed and picked the last broccoli. I didn't put compost on that bed because if I can get a chance this year before it all freezes up, I want to double dig the bed. Afterwards it will get its share of compost. I also cleaned up the celery and celeriac section of one bed (the rest had already been cleaned out). Of the four celeriac plants I put in during the spring, only two survived. And one had a rotten root. So I harvested just one rather small bulb. I hope it was worth it. I'm fairly sure the seed was contaminated with celery mosaic virus. And then it spread to my celery plants. I'm not too happy about that as mosaic virus never goes away. If I try it again I'll get it from a different seed source.

Also on Wednesday I did a lot of cleaning up. The bamboo poles got put in their silver tarp to protect them from the wet over the winter. The freeze thaw would pretty much destroy them, and I don't want to put them in the basement, so every year they get wrapped in a tarp and put on top of the early corn bed. I like that bed because I won't need it until May, so the poles can stay there a long time if necessary. I removed the hose and reel from the front yard and did the garden area hose late today once all the roots were harvested and cleaned. In addition to the hoses all the filters, flow controllers, and sprinklers were put in the basement. All the little things like knives, scissors, and trowels (which I keep all over the garden) where put away in the shed. Except where it is still protecting the soil (from the cats) all the rebar was put in the shed too along with the short bamboo poles. The shed isn't tall enough for my big poles.

Today in addition to the second half of the carrot bed, I picked the parsnip bed.

It had parsnips, turnips, and beets. The parsnips did just OK. I had a few really good ones. Most were small. I have some rot in the ground that turns the outside orange. Usually it is just skin deep which is good, but I'm guessing they won't last long in storage.

The turnips were also small. They probably had enough time, but the parsnips were right next to them and were so big they blocked the sun. I'm a little surprised they grew as well as they did. I didn't get a lot, but I'll appreciate what I have. Next year I'll grow the parsnips in a square block and leave the other half of the bed for turnips. This year the parsnips were down the middle of the bed. This was a problem for two reasons. During the early season, the early turnips shaded a lot of the parsnips out. And during the later season the parsnips shaded the next seeding of turnips out. I think 4' x 4' blocks of each will work much better.

So I think I'm all set for the cold spell to hit. I have just three beds in production now. The spinach bed, the kale bed, and the bok choy/chard bed. And my refrigerator is full of root vegetables, mainly carrots. Hopefully later this week I'll get a post up about those carrots. But for now I'll just say they did really well. They are my favorite of the root crops. So I'm happy even if the others weren't all that stellar.


  1. I did garden cleanup earlier this week before it got cold here. And I dug some of the carrots, but left quite a few. I am gambling that the ground won't stay frozen long. I can usually keep them outside until December. We will see about this year.

  2. You are ready but it doesn't seem like it should be that time already! Nancy

  3. Nice to see some greens even if they are on their way out of the garden! My garden was out back in

  4. I just can't wrap my head around having frozen ground. We get at least one freeze every winter that finally crisps any lingering tender vegetables but I've never encountered anything more than a thin layer of frozen soil that thaws once the sun hits it. I expect you'll be showing us photos of your snow covered beds before too long. Brrr. I'm such a weather wimp!

  5. Our plot and garden are just too wet to get anything done, Yout plot looks very tidy and well prepared for your big freeze

  6. I was out there during the recent warm spell also doing as much as possible to get the garden ready for winter. And good thing too as we are now definitely into winterish weather with every day going below 0 and highs of only 2 or 3 C (around 35F).