Monday, November 1, 2010

One (Almost) Tidied Garden Bed

I have been working a little at a time on getting the garden tidied up for winter, but I am about to run out of time. Our first freeze will be here in a week or two. Anything the least bit "tender" that's left in the garden when that happens is going to turn to mush. (Yesterday, that first freeze looked like it would arrive this weekend, but the forecast has changed since then.)

I worked on this bed over the weekend:

In the foreground is a patch of chard; to the right are potted herbs; to the left are some red-veined sorrel that are probably too small to see (a gift from Cheryl - thanks!); across the "near-back" are a couple of different varieties of chicories; and behind those are nasturiums (left) and thyme.

Everything except the nasturtiums - they will turn to mush - should do just fine all winter long, especially since the herbs are portable.

It may seem a bit odd that I've planted the pots of herbs (rosemary and bay), but there is a reason for this. Last year, we had an unusually long stretch of very cold weather, and some of our potted herbs didn't survive. They always had made it through the winter before, so I hadn't done anything to protect them. This summer, I had to replace the bay and the rosemary.

I could actually plant the herbs, but we like to have the bay on the back deck in summer, and planted rosemary can get very large here. The pot helps keep it in bounds. My thinking is that, this year, if a freakishly long freeze sets in, I can pop those pots out of the ground and put them in the garage for the duration. When the freeze ends, they can go back into their holes.

I know that a lot of people have good luck bringing their herbs into the house for the winter, but I am not one of those people. Indoor herbs die in this house.


  1. Here's hoping for NOT another winter like last year!Good idea on the potted herbs!

  2. My rosemary is large indeed, but its out by the mailbox where I can't do too much digging because of buried lines, so not good for repeated plantings. I can't keep potted herbs over the winter either - not enough light, I think.

    It looks like our first freeze will be tomorrow night. I was hoping for longer.

  3. I tried to find your email, but I can't so, I'll post my question here - I did end up planting some potatoes, late. Do I need to cover them for the probable freeze?

    Also, please see my blog for comments/questions on the general state of my garden at the moment. Thanks. Owlfan.

  4. Hi Owlfan,

    Bummer about the buried lines, but at least that means they aren't going to get knocked down when a tree goes over, as happens in my neighborhood!

    For the potatoes, you could poke around below ground to check on their progress. If the spuds are still tiny, I would definitely cover them. The freeze will knock back the green parts if you don't. After the freeze, we should have some more days that are warm enough for good growth.

    My email address is amygwh at g mail dot com (reworked into standard email form...)


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