If you have the space inside by a sunny window, dig up some rosemary, marjoram, parsley, basil, and scented geraniums to bring inside for the winter. If the scented geraniums are too leggy, take cuttings and root in water before planting in pots. Citrus trees, bay laurel, and lemongrass should also be brought inside before frost.
Bargain hunter alert!
This is the time to snap up half-price perennials for your flower borders, trees, and shrubs. As long as they have some time to situate, ideally 6 weeks before the ground freezes, they should be fine.
When the ground is actually frozen hard, add a good 6 to 12-inches of mulch to prevent them heaving out of the ground.
Planting Garlic, Walking Onions, and Shallots
Late October. Add lots of compost and plant cloves 6 to 8-inches apart, with the tip 2-inches below ground level. Water in if the soil is dry. Garlic and shallots will not survive the winter if planted in a soggy bed. Mulch with leaves or straw after the ground is completely frozen for the winter. Here are the varieties I’m planting this year.
Varieties: Music, German Extra Hardy, Italian Late, Italian Early, Silver Rose, and Spanish Roja
Egyptian Walking Onions
Varieties: Amish, McCullars White Topset, Catawissa Tree Onion, Moritz
French Grey Shallots
The variety that’s planted in fall.
These potato stand-ins for are also planted this time of year.
Clearing up all of the dried foliage from the garden helps keep back some insect infestations and reduces bedding materials for field mice.
Before completely clearing The Herb Garden, the Shiso/Perilla and Artemisia were begging for their close-up. They literally glow in the autumn morning light.
The Hungry Caterpillar
The last vestiges of the fennel fronds are being devoured by a swallowtail butterfly caterpillar.
This will be one autumn to remember. The weather is exquisite, one of my favorite times in the garden. The bit of rain we had recently was just enough to keep the leaves on the trees long enough for them to burst into their coat of many colors.
Congratulations to my friend Annie who has been accepted into the Master Gardener Program. She came to my first (and last, sigh) seed starting class, eight years ago! Her garden has grown. Wishing her the best with her studies.
Our local farmer from Trauger’s Farm Market passed away a few weeks ago. His pumpkins are the highlight of Bucks County every October. He’s shown school children by the thousands what farming is, with his love of his craft always present. If you are in Kintnersville, PA in October, the horse-drawn hayrides are not to be missed.
Myron, you will be missed.