by David Hinks
The past week (up until the weekend) has probably been the most enjoyable week of the summer, at least weather-wise, for most gardeners. The mosquitoes are mostly gone, the fall greens are growing well and those reluctant tomatoes are finally turning red. The following photo shows a mesclun mix that was planted September 9 and that will soon be ready for harvesting. If you harvest only a portion at a time (by clipping off the greens with scissors) and leave that section until it grows again an extended harvest of greens is possible. Covering the growing bed with plastic or glass when heavy frost is forecast will prolong the harvest until well into November.
If you haven’t harvested your basil yet, keep an eye on the weather and bring it in as soon as frost as forecast. As the following photo shows it has been a great year for basil.
The leaves are really starting to fall now. I will rake up some of them on a sunny day when they are dry and save them in old garbage pails (with a lid to keep them dry) and then add them to my composter as I dump kitchen scraps over the winter. Remember to add two parts dry to one part wet!
It is now time to start thinking about planting spring flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and crocus. The effort now will be hugely rewarded in the spring.
It is also time to start thinking about digging and storing the summer bulbs and tubers such as dahlias, gladiolus and cannas. I usually wait until after the first hard frost – the dahlias in particular seem to just be at the peak of their flowering. (Note to self: get them started earlier indoors next spring!) And now is the time to trim and clean up those garlic bulbs that have been hanging patiently in the garden shed.
Don’t forget about the special opportunity to learn more about vegetable gardening taking place in Carleton Place on October 26. While this full day workshop has been organized as a technical update for the Master Gardeners of Ottawa and Lanark, it is open to the public. If you would like to learn more about growing the ModernVictoryGarden, join us in Carleton Place on Saturday October 26 from 9-4 when the Master Gardeners of Eastern Ontario will present an all day seminar on growing your own ModernVictoryGarden. Come learn about permaculture, bringing “victorious vegetables” to the people, and, of course, organic techniques for dealing with those pesky veggie pests. Renowned author Janette Haas will serve up her recipe for the ModernVictoryGarden. Mix and mingle with local MGs at the Read and Seed exchange, and enjoy your hosts’ luscious pot-luck lunch, which helps to keep registration prices rock bottom! The cost for this day long seminar, including lunch is only $35.
For details Visit www.lanarkmastergardeners.mgoi.ca or call Dale at 613 264-8135 for details.