Preparing the Garden for Winter

Reader Contribution by Trf Cullers
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According to the gardening books, it’s time to put the garden to sleep for the winter. Not that my little patch was completely awake during the growing season, but it did produce a few vegetables and a good many herbs. 

I like getting the garden ready for winter. Expectations are low; in fact, all that matters is that I pull the weeds and pile them on a compost heap. Preparing the soil to rest is like stripping old paint from an antique dresser. You simply can’t hurt anything; it already looks as bad as it ever will.

Late Autumn Mint

The sage and mint are continuing to persevere amidst the relatively cold nights and chilly days of mid to late autumn. They will shine even more when I remove the dead, gangly stalks of brown plant material: they’re a true tribute to the robustness of domesticated weeds.

Finding time to clear out the garden seems to be my biggest challenge. The sun dips behind the horizon shortly after 5 pm these days. By the time I close down the computer and push in the last chair in my classroom, the large lunar fireball is already dipping dangerously low in the sky. We do have a few holidays coming up in the next couple of days. Thanksgiving is near, and the Powers that Be have seen fit to give us three entire free days this year…more than we have ever had before. Perhaps I will spend the frantic hours of “black Friday” puttering away in the back forty. Stacking weeds seems so much more restful than pushing through throngs of agitated bodies at the local mall. Such clamor and clutter messes with the minds of theoretical farmers—way too much reality for our philosophical brains to process.

Between now and Friday, perhaps I will do a bit more research on proper winter gardening for our neck of the woods. I still haven’t given up on horseradish and carrots, although I suspect I should have planted them much earlier… Whatever the case, I am looking forward to several uninterrupted hours in my garden. I’ve missed our time together. 

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