Closing the Vegetable Garden

The time has come to close up the vegetable garden. The holidays are close and the temperature is starting to drop. Not to mention the sun goes down by 5 o’clock these days. It is around this time that I remove out any remaining plants and bring the garden into a state of rest until next spring. Sure I could continue to try and grow for a bit longer, but I need to recover as well.

Just check out the temperature from last Friday. Winter is coming.

Last time I checked in, you saw how my garden beds are prepared for winter. Adding compost, nutrients, and leaves. And making sure to leave plant roots intact by removing out everything from the base of the stem up. I have to admit that there are a few beds waiting their turn for this process and am hoping to be all caught up by the weekend.

In an effort to set myself up for a successful closing of the garden this weekend, I decided to pull out the last remaining vegetables after work the other day. All that’s remained are only the most hardy plants - carrots, parsnips, and kale. In all honesty, the root crops could stay in the garden through most of the winter, but I prefer to bring them in and store them. The carrots were a bit small, but I will say that I pulled out some of the biggest parsnips I’ve ever seen. My guess is this is because they were started in spring and grew until now.

I bought this headlight for hunting, however it works great in the garden.

All in all, there was quite a bit picked. We ended up with a 5 gallon pail stuffed with Kale.

Speaking of hunting, I have been bow hunting for deer for the first time this year and have put in A LOT of hours. In fact, last weekend I spent all of it up north in the woods trying to get some meat for the freezer to compliment all of the berries and vegetables stored. While I was standing in a tree stand Sunday evening, I get a text from my wife with a picture of our mound. Funny thing was, there was an 8 point buck standing over the garden. I could not believe my wife was seeing more deer at home than I was in the woods. Needless to say, we are going to be eating a lot of vegetables this year…

The picture quality is a little bit rough just because of the distance of the photo. I’d be scared to get close right now too with all the testosterone running through that animal!

In my next post I will be looking through the weight totals for the year and see what produced the most and what did not do so well. But I will tell you, we canned so much that a new canning shelf needed to be built. Our last one looked like the leaning tower of Pisa!

After purchasing a bunch of 2x4s and plywood, we stuffed them into the Honda Accord (which barely fit - I really need a truck again). After a few screws and a lot of measuring, we were able to create a nice solid new canning shelf. And it actually makes it look like we did not can much at all.

I take this emptiness as a challenge for next year!

Now don’t worry, just because the outdoor garden is closing down, it does not mean I’m done growing things. This is the four season gardener remember? The indoor garden has already been started and I will be introducing you to this year’s setup in a future post.

Let’s just say there is a lot of basement lettuce to come…

Stay tuned!

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About the Author

Geoff has been growing plants and vegetables consistently for the last 6 years and actively experiments with, and writes about, all aspects of gardening.

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