Political Commentary

Thursday, September 27, 2018

From the Gardens Registrar: This Season is Nearing Its End; Saving Your Own Seeds; Reminder – Garlic Workshop October 7; Workday This Saturday

 September 26, 2018

Hello Gardeners,

THE F WORD – I am, of course, referring to frost. (What else could F stand for?) Our weather is very unpredictable, and especially so in transitional seasons. But several Internet sites show the typical first frost in this area occurring between October 1 and October 10. Be ready – keep checking the weather forecasts as the temperatures go down. The first frost is usually light, and most plants will survive it, with a little help – sheets, blankets, cardboard boxes, plastic – these light covers will keep your plants alive, and then the plants should be okay on their own for a week or two until the next frost. But the most heat-loving plants, such as basil and eggplant, will probably not survive. Root crops, and cabbages and their relatives are not damaged by light frosts – in fact, for some of them, such as kale, their flavor improves after frost.

If your tomato plants are too big to cover very effectively, you might want to just give up and pick all the tomatoes – if they’re close to ripe, you can get them to finish ripening inside. Here’s a website with good information: https://www.growveg.com/guides/the-best-ways-to-ripen-green-tomatoes/

If you have tomatoes that are completely unripe, green and hard, you can cook them that way: https://www.thespruceeats.com/recipes-using-green-tomatoes-3057091

CLOSING DAY– We will have a closing day in late November or early December, when we will collect and inventory the garden tools, and then store them, along with the carts, in the garden sheds for the winter. (However, we always leave a few carts and tools outside for the few people who continue working into the winter.) The water will be turned off some time in October, when we start to be threatened with frost. We can’t take any chances with our water pipes freezing. (It may be a sudden decision, and I might not be able to give gardeners notice. So start expecting this any time after October 1.) The portable toilets will be leaving around November 1.

The 2019 applications will be available on our website starting December 15. Fees will be the same as this year. If you want to renew your garden for next year, you will need to fill out the application and get it to me with the fees by February 15.  Please note: if you got a plot late in summer or this fall, you will still need to apply again for a garden for 2019, and pay the standard fee.

SEED SAVING – This is a good time of year to think about saving seeds. Bean seeds are especially easy to save – just let the beans dry on the vines. Pick them when they’re dry, shell them, and store them in a cool, dry place. Provided your beans are an open-pollinated variety, rather than hybrids, you can then plant them in your plot next year. You can save seeds from a number of vegetables – this website has a lot of information:  https://extension.umn.edu/planting-and-growing-guides/saving-vegetable-seeds Also, it’s easy to save seeds from flowers, such as marigolds and zinnias. There’s even more satisfaction in gardening when you can plant seeds that you saved yourself.

REMINDER ABOUT GARLIC WORKSHOP – Gary K’s garlic workshop, Growing Great Garlic, will be held on Saturday, October 6, 10 – 11:30, at the Eagle Heights shed.

WORKDAY THIS SATURDAY – We will have a workday at Eagle Heights this Saturday, September 29, from 1pm – 4pm. The task will be clearing abandoned plots. Here’s the link to sign up: https://doodle.com/poll/r3mugcvrkvb6g8ri

Happy Gardening,

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