Friday, 2 December 2016

Finally, A Final Garden Report

I think this is the latest we have ever finished up in the garden. Partly because we were so behind, what with Mr. Ferdzy being out of commission for 6 weeks after mid-August followed by a 2 week trip to Nova Scotia, and partly because the weather has permitted or even required it.

However, 2 days ago we dug a bunch of leeks, carrots, shallots, and rutabaga for storage and cut the last of the cabbages (possibly a mistake - now what do we do with them?)

All the beds are reasonably clean for the winter except for the quadrant where Mr. Ferdzy is standing.

We grew 4 kinds of leeks this year. The top right quadrant shows Portage, a new variety from New Zealand which I received in a trade with the breeder. He would like some of my leek genetics, and he is curious about how this variety will overwinter in Ontario, since New Zealand winters are much milder than ours. I am hopeful that it will do well - it is the second bluest leaved of the varieties, and that's usually a sign of cold tolerance.

The bluest variety is Bandit, a traditional Dutch variety, and the top left quadrant is Verdonnet, a traditional Swiss variety. The bottom right is Inegol, from Turkey. An international leek selection!

Portage and Verdonnet were about the same size; Inegol was the largest by a bit and the Bandit were noticeably smaller than any of the others. There are lots of all the varieties left in the bed to overwinter.

With the long, mild fall we were able to get one of our 2 disastrous beds cleaned up. That just leaves one of them, and the path to one side plus the leg down to the lawn to be gravelled. I have not been able to keep the paths trimmed and they are a big source of weeds in nearby beds. We really hope to get them cleaned up next spring.

Mr Ferdzy demonstrates how he goes through so many pairs of reading glasses, and also digs leeks. From front to back it's Inegol, Bandit, Verdonnet, and Portage.

Slightly off in the distance you can see a bed of spinach covered for the winter. We planted a second bed but did not bother to cover it as germination was so bad. Actually, I don't think germination was bad so much as it was infested with slugs and snails who ate it as fast as it germinated. Why one bed and not the other? No idea. We'll just plant it again in early spring at this point though.

I am hoping to have some lettuce from the garden for Christmas. It would not be the first time, but it is a somewhat unusual occurrence. Right now all the lettuce is self-sown from plants that went to seed earlier. Some of it is in the gravel paths; lettuce seems to like them just fine for growing. I don't mind it; I just keep an eye on them and pick them first, before they can really send down long tap roots and wreck the underlying cloth.

Usually we get a break between end of gardening and the start of Christmas planning; this year no luck. That's the downside of Christmas lettuce.

Next year we plan to downsize the garden somewhat. Now that we can see how much a well maintained and fertilized garden can produce, we don't need so much space and it's too much work to keep it all going, especially as our remaining parents plainly have no intention of doing anything but get older. We're both creaking a little more ourselves these days too. Plus maybe we would like to do some other things besides garden... but that will be another post. Possibly another blog.

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