Now See the Garden Achievement Unlocked

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Hey guys, I did it! I have unlocked the preparation of the garden for the realization of winter!

The weather this week was beautiful, sunny and mild, so I decided to take advantage of our last two beautiful days to do all the gardening work that was bothering me. I don’t know about you, but I hate doing messy, wet yard work and digging the ground while dressed like the Michelin buck and wearing gloves in cold weather (no work gloves).

The cold weather often prevents going to the garden and getting things done. It’s a happy day when I can work outside for hours, with just a hat, an autumn jacket and no gloves.

The garlic is in it! And not too soon because I was tired of worrying. I still have a few light bulbs to insert if the desire strikes me, but I don’t need them. I like that everything from here is a Bonus. I also planted elephant garlic. The 2012 harvest worked so well that I thought I would experiment with the harvest in a few different conditions to see how it could be better protected but also pushed.

I cleaned the iris bed of all the old yellowed or dead leaves and cut off the remaining healthy leaves. There was a second bed of iris, but I took it out on a whim to enlarge the dry bed.
I covered the artichoke plant to protect it. This will be my second attempt at hibernation. Last year I mulched with leaves and covered with a box. It didn’t work out — the plant was a rotten mess in the spring. I also doubt this year’s attempt, but I’m willing to give it a try.
I planted all the remaining bulbs. I thought I had achieved this feat a few days ago, but I was surprised to discover some latecomers.

I cleaned the dilapidated shed and rearranged all the seedling pots according to their size and shape. I save and use the best plastic planters every year. It always seems that I have too many, but miraculously they are all used. The Shed was a disaster this fall, because I was lazy in the spring and literally threw empty jars into the Shed at the end of each day. I said I would clean it up, but the summer heat has made the Shed unbearable, so the clutter continues to accumulate. When the seed season starts, I can find the pots I need without losing my mind.

I installed the lid of the row and an assortment of giant water bottle bells. I still have one last blanket to install, but that’s okay.
I collected “Egyptian” bulbs and planted them where I wanted them to return in the spring. I also planted some under row covers, hoping that we could harvest fresh green cuttings all winter long.

I cleaned the back compost bin. We would leave it to languish for the tottering composter. I was happy to discover that there were active things under a pile of rubble that we had lazily lifted above. It is now discarded, fluffy, cleaned and functional again.
I cleaned all the stalks from the Jerusalem artichoke. It was not an easy task, because many trunks were as thick as a small branch. My next goal is to dig a pile and get it back before the ground freezes.

I cut off all hardy perennials.

I still have a few small and fine chances before the snow arrives – the main task is to place all the terracotta pots with hardy plants in the shed and clean the porch – but I will do it on Friday. My back is broken, but as of today, I am stress-free when it comes to gardening!

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