Wild Green Garden Consulting
Dear <<First Name>>,
The killing frost came around the same time as in previous years – in the city it was about -3 degrees on October 3, spelling the end of annual flowers and bean plants. I carried some flowerpots into the house overnight (rather heavy - insanity really!) but I love to admire my deep pink geranium blooms and friendly orange marigolds for as long as possible.
Now comes the job of cleaning and composting… check out my workshop next weekend.

Composting Workshop – Sunday, October 15
This workshop is a “hands in the dirt” opportunity to learn how to set up a compost this fall and get you on the road to successful composting.
Date and Time: Sunday, October 15, 1-3 pm
Cost: $22
Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
Location: Claudia’s yard, address will be provided after registration; rain or shine

Microgreens and Sprouts Workshop
A hands-on workshop is in the works for November (or maybe January) … be sure to check the next newsletter for updates.

Fall Cleanup and Winter Preparation
Weeding: Don’t let your weeds go to seed (they sure hurry up in September…); instead, try to grab them now without spilling seeds all over. Also go after quack grass and creeping bellflower roots to reduce their energy going into winter.
Planting: You can still plant flower bulbs (tulips, daffodils, muscari) and of course Garlic. Make sure to add some compost to the soil and bone meal will also help the bulbs grow.  I like to sprinkle and scratch some spinach and lettuce seeds between my garlic. In the city, it’s not really necessary to mulch garlic, though a thin layer of straw should not stop the leafy greens from growing.
Fall Seeding: Closer to Halloween, I will be seeding some other annuals to try and get them to grow and bloom earlier, including cilantro and dill (these usually self-seed anyways), cosmos, calendula and Shirley poppies.
Compost and Leaves: Now is a good time to make a compost pile and add a ½ inch layer of compost to your beds. In the veggie garden, lightly digging fallen tree leaves and compost into the soil helps to replenish organic matter, soil organisms and nutrients. Some folks like to top up their lasagna garden by adding layers of leaves and dead plant materials on top of garden beds. This is fine, but make sure to moisten the materials well. Next spring, you won’t be able to plant seeds because the rough materials take a full season to break down. You can transplant larger plants into the layers though.
Perennial Flowers: You can leave the perennial flowers if you like the seed heads above the snow line, and the stalks help to catch some snow. In the spring, I cut them back once I see that there is some growth. If you have more time in the fall, you can clean up now (and compost).
Pruning: Except for dead and diseased branches, it’s a bit too late to prune your bushes or trees as they may get damaged by the cold. You are allowed now (between Oct 1 and March 31) to prune your elm trees.
Tree Protection: Wrap your fruit tree trunks with ¼ inch mesh hardware cloth or place a plastic guard to prevent jackrabbits and voles from chewing the bark. White plastic guard on the south and southwest side of tree trunks also prevents sunscald.
Containers: I remove dead plant material but leave any deep roots. I place the containers under the deck and cover them with a saucer to keep house sparrows and cats from making a mess of the soil. In the spring, I haul them out to “rejuvenate” the potting mix.
Groovy Garden Plants
Harvest is wrapping up and it’s time to evaluate how the food-growing season went. I'm very pleased and very thankful for a wonderful harvest. Here are some plants that stood out this year.
Lemon Cucumbers brought surprise and a smile to a few faces. I bought new seeds and with fairly regular rain, they produced heavily. These cucumbers are lemon yellow, roundish like an apple and taste very similar to a regular cucumber, but rarely turn bitter.
Melons: I purchased a Sugar Baby Watermelon (75 days to maturity) at Kuhlman’s and it produced only 2 melons, but they were very delicious. A more prolific producer was a musk melon plant I also got from Kuhlman’s and another one I received from a friend. Both musk melons were not super sweet, but it was a nice treat to pick one from the basked almost every day for a couple of weeks. I have saved some seeds and will be growing them again next year.
Wasabi Radish: I planted seeds from West Coast Seeds, under row cover with my broccoli. These poor plants suffered a bit under the larger plants until I removed the bullies in August. I recently pulled one of the radishes and it’s indeed a rather spicy radish!
Sweet Potatoes: A friend ordered Georgia Jet Sweet Potato slips from Mapple Farm for me and I grew them in 4 inch pots inside until they were ready to be transplanted in early June. I have harvested 2 plants and the results are interesting. My deeper bed at home with lots of compost produced slightly fewer but larger tubers compared to my community garden patch. There the soil has more clay (and more sun) and the tubers are thinner and longer. Next year I will make sure to loosen the soil a little deeper, and as suggested, I will try and warm the soil with black plastic. I am not totally sold on growing these every year (regular spuds are way more productive), but I want to see if I can get a little higher production.
Kale in City of Edmonton Planters
At William Hawrelak Park the city went all out to create stunning planters – complete with huge Scarlet Kale that showed no evidence of pests. I have noticed the same with my scarlet kale. Maybe it’s true that the Cabbage White Butterfly does not recognize the purple plant as a food source or will not lay eggs on it because the green caterpillars don’t blend in and are more likely to be predated. Cool stuff! 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Claudia Bolli, Wild Green Garden Consulting
If you would like help with your plans, please contact me for a consultation or design,
Copyright © *2017* *Wild Green*, All rights reserved.
unsubscribe from this list   update subscription preferences
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp