October Happenings

Planting seed garlic

Planting seed garlic

Hello October gardeners,

It's predicted (and it feels like it to me) that we'll have a frost tonight. How much of a killing frost remains to be seen. I'll have the hoses ready before the sun comes up to thoroughly wet down my beautiful bean crop which is bearing mightily at the moment.

Please be reminded to bring inside or protect vulnerable house plants. Cover veggies and annuals you would like to carry on for  a while longer.You can also wet these plants thoroughly before, during, and after sunrise until the temperature rises above freezing.

I hope you are ready to start planting fall bulbs. We still have a wonderful selection of high quality, large sized tulips, dafs, hyacinths, crocus, and muscari (grape hyacinths). Its important to do some planning so that bloom times, heights, and colors are well coordinated. If you love tulips as much as I do, please consider using a good repellent such as Repels-All and/or a physical agent such as oyster shells at the bottom of the hole and sprinkled throughout as you fill in the hole. Voles (a kind of mouse) love to devour tulips, but I have had great results with the aforementioned repellent. Mid to end of October is perfect for planting. This time frame allows roots time to develop while the soil temperature continues to cool enough and then freezes. Hopefully  shoots will not emerge too early and be damaged by freezing temperatures.

It's time to plant garlic and shallots. We have Spanish Roja and German Red garlic as well as Holland Red shallots. These members of the allium family love a friable, well drained soil and thrive in a sunny site. We add compost and Espoma Garden-tone to the site. Plant each garlic clove 3" apart, second knuckle deep, and water thoroughly. If conditions are dry until the ground freezes, you may need to water again. Around the end of November the ground should be freezing up. That's when you cover your row with 4-6" of straw for the winter. Come talk with us about what to do in the spring.

As you remove spent plants from your veggie garden, we recommend seeding with winter rye. This will prevent soil from eroding and produce a "green manure" crop to be worked into the soil in the spring. Make sure to turn it under before May 1 or you will be dealing with shoulder high rye! 

Lastly, mark your calendars for our famous TRUCKLOAD WILD BIRD SEED SALE Thursday, November 16 (after the truck arrives) through Saturday, November 18, 2017. Sale ends when we sell out of a particular item or at 3 pm Saturday, whichever comes first.

Enjoy your October and take time to leaf peek. How can we ever tire of this beauty?

Judy Ratta-Harrington

Kate Ratta