Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Make Hay While the Sun Shines

OK no hay and it wasn't sunny today, but for the last three days we have had progressively warmer weather. Today we had a high of 65F. After today it is getting colder again. So I figured I needed to get my butt in gear and do some chores while it was warm. Sunday really inspired me when I had to go out and pick carrots in the snow. I decided then to find the warmest days to get things done. I made myself a list and kept adding to it.

First off where those pesky carrots. I'd been picking a handful whenever I needed them. But I decided they weren't getting any better and they store really well in the fridge. So on Monday I picked half of them. I was going to pick more, but it really wasn't warm yet. I did get to the rest today.

While I was at it I checked out the parsnips and turnips from my experimental bed. I say experimental because I'd never grown parsnips before and I planted them late. I wasn't sure if they would produce at all. They did, not fabulously, but not too bad either. I will be eating parsnips this winter just not a lot of them.

Yesterday I got around to picking all the parsley and cilantro. Though I pulled the parsley plants, I left the cilantro. That bed won't get cleaned up anyway since they are in the middle of the kale. And they might survive the winter. Not likely but they did one year. Once they were inside I washed, chopped, and froze them. When they are thawed they don't have a good texture anymore, but the taste is still there. So they get added to sauces and meatballs and such.

I removed the last of the row covers and got the bad ones tossed out and the good ones put away. And do you see that compost pile. It is much taller than the photo. It is getting out of control, but I don't have another bin right now to put the excess into, so it just keeps getting taller as I clean up.

I only have six and a half beds still with things in them. Whatever got cleaned up, was covered with a layer of compost, except that one bed right next to the broccoli. I'm thinking of double digging that bed and its neighbor with the broccoli next week. Double digging is a good chore when it is colder since I'll be working up a sweat.

Chores Completed

  • Replace battery on the weather station
  • Tie kale up to stakes
  • Tie rose to arbor (my husband said it was having a bad hair day)
  • Remove last of row covers and store
  • Clean up fennel and lettuce bed
  • Put seed heads of fennel on Bed 7 (next year's fennel bed)
  • Compost decorative corn stalk by door
  • Harvest fresh eating carrots and store, clean up bed
  • Pick parsley and cilantro and freeze
  • Clean up two patches of zinnias
  • Make front garden map (for the new perennial bed so I can do some planning)
  • Make applesauce

Chores Todo before the ground freezes

  • Harvest everything except bok choy
  • Blanch and freeze kale
  • Taste test storage carrots
  • Blanch and freeze some of carrots, store others in various ways
  • Freeze celery
  • Double dig Bed 6
  • Collect leaves

And I did one other thing today, but I'll write about it in a separate post as this one is long enough.


  1. What a difference, I still have images of your garden in full summer jungle mode. lt's hard to believe that it will all be put to bed soon. Where did the year go?! Congrats on the parsnips.

  2. Way to go! I have almost all done outside now except pull the rest of the carrots and remember to put the cold frame cover down for the cold nights. Have some parsley so should chop and freeze some like you do!! Nancy

  3. We need to get the pots if parsley into the greenhouse for winter soi that hopefully we will keep it fresh to use.

  4. You made applesauce as well as doing all the outside work? You really did get a lot done, hay or not! I've never grown parsnips, but I'm guessing homegrown ones would taste better than ones from the grocery which I've never really liked very much.

  5. We've had a few warmish days as well & have taken full advantage of it - the pile of soil on my driveway is finally all gone & the mulch is only 2 loads away from being finished. This is one time when I can't wait to see asphalt ;) BTW - are you leaving the bok choy because it can withstand freezing temps? I always had it in my head that kale was more tolerant of freezing temps than it actually the reverse?

    1. Kale is more hardy. That and the spinach will over winter here, but the choy will not. But the choy will probably be the last thing I harvest. I ought to have all the kale that I can harvest done long before then. The choy can take some freezing, but will be dead by January. The problem is harvesting it. It is best harvested when it is not frozen, so I've got to get it on a warmish day. It would be best to cover it, but I'm probably not going to bother. I'll just harvest and keep it in the fridge when I think it gets to the end of its life.