Hard to believe that another growing season is coming to an end. Pints and quarts of tomatoes, beans, corn, pickles, kraut, etc have been canned, frozen, and even dried. Some potatoes and sweet potatoes have been harvested, though a few intend to leave them in the ground until the threat of the first hard frost. Summer squash has given way to winter squash, and some of us are already contemplating our first bowl of butternut squash soup with a side of cornbread.
Some gardeners have planted a second crop to harvest, and are already getting peas and another round of green beans. Others are getting ready to plant more kale, collards, and other cold weather tolerant greens for harvesting over the winter; they’ll be protected from extreme cold by covering them with leaves for a warm blanket when the temperature starts to get a bit nippy.
We’ve had our Winterizing Your Garden/Winter Gardening workshop with Master Gardener LaDonna Slate sharing her wealth of knowledge and her plans to grow a few herbs, tomato plants and beans indoors for use over the winter, and how you can keep them happy even when the weather outside is more suited to Antarctica. Shop lights are cheap and are excellent grow lights for those with little winter sun coming through their windows.
We have also been blessed with saved seeds from a gardener who recently passed away. It’s unknown how much at this point, plus viability might be a concern as many seeds are from previous years, but they have been meticulously cared for and kept frozen, so hopes are high that they will still be fairly viable. There are a variety of beans, some corn, different kinds of squash, and others. We’ll run viability tests in the spring to see if we can hand them out to our gardeners. In addition, some of our current gardeners have saved seeds from their harvests this year hoping to be able to use them next year.