It’s been a month of tough goodbyes. As the warm temperatures head south, we have seen the end of all of our delicious summer veggies. Pulling up our tomatoes and collecting the last of whatever is left on the vine is something that is always bittersweet. Kristyn says she feels like we are pulling them “before their time.” In reality, they don’t have anything left to give, and in order to get any kind of fall harvest, someone’s got to go. While I certainly love my share of fall treats, there’s something special about those sun kissed summer garden treasures that’s hard to let go of.
The gardens have endured some serious neglect over the past few weeks. I know that we keep saying it, but as of lately, the craziness of life has stolen too much of our time. Having less hours of daylight hasn’t help either. Over the past few weeks, we have been transitioning the gardens to prepare for the cool temperatures ahead.
A cleanout kicked everything off. Any remnants of the summer were gone in a blink. Kristyn could hardly look. A fresh top dressing of compost and mulch was added everywhere in our main gardens. Lettuce and a few other greens were sown in cold frames to the side of the raised beds (We have a full post on how to build a cold frame here). Having those seeds in the ground never felt better.
Spreading a layer of fall mulch or compost might be one of the best things you can do to prep for spring. (Get more compost tips here.) Our gardens certainly always show us how much they love a fresh coat. Plus, the new mulch always makes everything look so nice and clean.
Once the last of the mulch was spread, the cold frames came out of storage. After giving them a quick cleaning, we loaded the cold frames I constructed last year onto the wheelbarrow and maneuvered our way from the shed to the raised beds. They aren’t the perfect fit I was going for, but they work for now. As the frosts arrive in the coming weeks, we will be prepared for the fight.
With the raised bed cold frames were in place, I transplanted some of the more tender vegetables into the beds for safe keeping through the cold months. Our cold frames help us stretch the seasons out. The plan is to have plenty of harvest ahead as the temperatures continue to plummet. It’s all part of the yearly frost prep.