November is the month when we put the garden to bed before winter. I did a little weeding of the empty beds and put in a layer of mulch. This year, besides straw and cocoa shells, we’ve also used shredded flaxstraw. It’s light and easy to spread between plants, but it seems to contain quite a lot of viable flaxseed. Since the point of mulch is to cover the soil and suppress weed-growth, not to grow a field of flax, I’m not sure we’ll be using it again next year.
We’ve had a few frosts this month which gave us a signal to harvest the last beets and carrots. Some of the carrots came out looking a little weird…
The purple autumn cauliflower has done really well this year, perhaps my timing in sowing and planting was right this time. They’re so pretty, it’s almost a pity to remove them from the garden, now that the last flowers are gone.
We’ve picked the first radicchio which might be my favorite salad vegetable for this time of year. We’ve also started harvesting kale. This year I’ve only sown the curly kale (also called borecole) because during the past two very cold winters, it proved to be hardier than the fancier varieties. It’s often said that frost improves the taste of kale – I don’t know whether I’d be able to tell the difference, but the kale we’re harvesting both from our garden and from the community garden definitely tastes great.
There was also one last planting to be done: garlic. Each year we keep a few bulbs from our harvest to plant in the fall in the hope to eventually have a strain perfectly adapted to our local climate.
We’ve put horticultural fleece over our spinach bed and the glass over the cold frame.
Winter, we’re ready for you!