It’s time to clear counter space in your kitchen and bring in final harvests of tomatoes, peppers, basil, ground cherry, beans, and squash for whatever processing you like to do. My dehydrator has been churning out dried tomatoes to snack on and use in soups, sauces and stews through the winter. Frost is predicted for Friday and Saturday nights (29-30 deg. F) and can be damaging or fatal to these summer crops. On the other hand, if you’re not ready to say goodbye to them this week, we have the knowledge and tools you’ll need to protect your plants! (see this article for more)
Our annual, month-long Holiday Gift Market, open through October 29th, is the perfect place to warm up and enjoy perusing the work of many local artists and artisans. Some of our offerings are available this month exclusively at Harlequin’s Gardens, and nowhere else! From art for the home to personal adornment, the best books for adults and kids, from gardening gifts to delicious treats for foodies, you’ll find unique and beautiful items.
We have the right weight of ‘row cover’ or ‘frost’ cloth to protect your plants and their tender fruits. This insulating cloth (‘Ensulate’) will make all the difference when night temperatures drop 6 or 7 degrees below freezing, while still allowing about 60% of sunlight to penetrate during daylight hours. We sell it pre-cut or custom-cut from our 12’-wide roll.
This is also the ideal time to top-dress your beds of groundcovers, bulbs, perennials, vines, and shrubs, as well as lawns. Fertilizing and topdressing in the fall provides nutrients to strengthen your plants and help them help them remain resilient through the winter. It also helps woody plants create buds in the winter that will begin to swell and bloom in spring. Topdressing with compost provides the biology to gradually breaks down the organic fertilizers, releasing the nutrients in the fertilizer.
We recommend starting with a thin layer of a granular organic fertilizer like locally-produced Richlawn 5-3-2 or Yum Yum mix, 2-1-1. This is especially supportive of native and xeriscape plantings that prefer ‘leaner’ soils. Over this layer, distribute a 1 to 2” layer of Eko Lawn Topdressing, which is exactly the same as regular Eko Compost except that it is sifted to include only the finer-textured compost. And all of these products are currently in stock at 30% off while they last!
When these garden chores are done, please don’t pick up the shears, clippers and loppers! Try to restrain yourself from ‘cleaning up’ your garden. There are more good reasons to leave the old stalks standing than there are for cutting them down. Go for a walk or a bike ride instead and enjoy these beautiful autumn days!