Perhaps it’s an inevitable cliché —starting your gardening blog by talking about the weather. But, as a season moves in, a season moves out, and with it, we gardeners witness these interrelated, shifting miracles: jeweled grapes, patches of cabbage, a confetti of leaves… and the smothering heat and then the obscuring fog… and suddenly fields of weeds where your eye couldn’t detect a seed. By this time of year, I’ve seen enough weather to be spent, if not in need of a pause. And, in truth, your garden is probably in a similar state.
Enact an active and mindful pause in the garden
So as we sit through the longest evenings of the year, it’s time to enact an active and mindful pause in the garden. This in mind, here are a few essential things we recommend to help this process along:
1. Cover the beds for winter
As the heavy rains come in, we emphasize covering your raised beds and gardens with a thick layer of mulch. Mulch will decrease your spring weeding, suppressing seeds before they can germinate. Choosing a type of mulch can depend on aesthetics as well as cost, and we are happy to consult with you on this matter. Or, we can deliver and spread the mulch ourselves (which we proudly get from Dean’s Innovations)!
2. Reflect on the season past
I admire the sub-orange fruits left on tomato plants come this time of year. An indeterminate tomato plant will grow and grow, even as their produce turns to cold mush. To me, the lingering plants of summer are a small gesture of reflection. This makes a time to appreciate the successes and troubles that came with this past growing year and the fall harvest. It’s a good time to offer gratitude for the earth that held the ground together.
3. Dream of next year’s seeds
Winter is a great time to plan next year’s garden. So as sugar plum fairies dance in your head, consider what seeds you want to set in the coming year. Here I mean the perennial, drought tolerant, edible, and/or flowering plant medicine native to Portland. We love to collaborate with clients at pdx.farm! Truly, we are here to consult and design fruitful (and vegetable) landscapes, working with all skill levels and garden states.
Happy season’s turn.