Putting my garden to bed

It’s been raining like crazy (even for Seattle), so I hadn’t gotten out in the yard in awhile. The dead pole beans, wilted eggplants and red, cracked jalapeños had been haunting me every time I pulled into the driveway, so I finally got out there last weekend. It was a super foggy morning, but it wasn’t raining and the forecast was for sun, so I bundled up and went for it.

I like to “put my garden to bed” in the fall, before the first frost if possible. Some aspects of what that means change every year and some stay the same. It mostly consists of putting stuff in the shed for storage, reinstalling cloches and cold frames and some cleaning up of things.

I always unhook the timer and valves for the drip irrigation, and as much of the lines as possible, so they don’t freeze and crack over the winter.

Some years I do cover crops, but this year I have a lot of stuff that will overwinter, so I didn’t have enough open space to warrant that. In the past, I have also covered beds in burlap. I heard that prevents erosion, but I am starting to wonder how much erosion occurs in a raised bed. Maybe that is mostly for mounded beds?

This year, besides bringing in the drip irrigation stuff, I just pulled out what was dead and composted it, reinstalled the cloche and the cold frame windows and called it good.

I didn’t worry too much about cleaning up anything else. Leaves are good for mulch and I can deal with the rest in Spring. Plus, it was cold out and I felt done.

So that’s it. My last gardening task of the season. Now for a couple of months off from gardening!

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