Well, the current gardening year has ended. We have a few stragglers still - two hearty pepper plants that I can't seem to part with as they are still producing small green peppers, and a large volunteer tomato that's determined to see if it's able to produce (and who I am to stop it?). Other than that, the garden has been closed down for the season to be prepared for the next. I have tons of veggies in the compost bin, simply awaiting the addition of leaves to begin their process, the worms are busy creating fertilizer out of our old newspaper and fruits, and Wayne began the Great Garden Prep Project. We decided (partly out of curiosity and partly out of laziness) to try no till gardening this year.
Basically no-till requires layers of cardboard or newspaper covered in manure and/or mulch on top of each bed which breaks down slowly over winter. In an ideal world, the lack of light kills any weeds that may have been sprouting, and the newspaper/cardboard/manure/mulch mix adds much-needed nutrients to the depleted soil. We decided to expand the garden and are trying the no till method to rid of the grass in the new area. We'll see how we do.
Our garlic arrived last week, and Wayne (kind as always) went ahead and prepped the bed (mixing in manure as we don't have the luxury of no-till for that bed), planted the garlic, and mulched the bed well. We're using Kettle River Giant Softneck Artichoke Garlic ordered from Seeds of Change. I picked it for ease of growth and storage potential. Last year my garlic didn't do so well, but I may have tried to harvest a bit too early. This year I will be more cautious as with all fruits and veggies it seems to be all about the timing.
The Fedco Tree catalog was awaiting me when I arrived home today. Every year I oogle the tree varities and make big plans about the orchard we will have one day when we have land. I think I may just bite the bullet and order the cherry trees that I have been lusting over. Even if they don't produce, they are beautiful in bloom and for $20 + shipping, they will be worth every penny.