The frost claimed what was left in the vegetable garden last week, leaving cold-blackened plants for me to pull out and add to the rapidly filling compost bins. I look now at the bare raised beds and see that once again, henbit is staking its claim for the winter.
There’s not much left to do prepare the vegetable garden and the gardener for winter. I should do some chipping and shredding of the drier plant debris in the compost bins and then harvest the compost underneath that top layer. And I should hoe the beds one last time to knock the henbit back a bit, though I know from experience, it will be still be growing strong by early spring, when it is once again time to plant a row of peas.
But even if I skip these last steps, or the weather doesn’t cooperate for me to do them, it will be okay. The garden will be ready enough for spring. Between now and then, I’ll be studying seed catalogs and websites, searching for the perfect varieties to make 2010’s vegetable garden “the best one yet”.
I enjoyed this year’s garden. It fed me well, both physically and spiritually. Every crop seemed to be a good crop except for the tomatoes. I blame the weather for that, as we had a cold, rainy summer.
I also did a better job of tending the garden than in some years, due in part to writing weekly letters about it addressed to Dee from Red Dirt Ramblings and Mary Ann from Idahogardener, who also wrote weekly letters about their vegetable gardens. That kept me hopping and hoeing because I sure didn’t want to write each week about being a lazy gardener!
And now those letters tell the story of this year’s garden. If you would like to read them look for the tag “Letters to Gardening Friends”, go all the way to the oldest post, and work your way back. Or you can just view this video recap.
“I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a row of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green.” ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from an Old Manse
Now, where are those seed catalogs…