This late fall has really thrown off my garden wrap-up plans. I ended up keeping my squash and tomato plants in the ground a good two weeks after I should have been able to, and only started pulling them because I had to plant out the brassicas into my raised beds. And given that October was spent mostly in the 70s and 80s, it was hard to get myself psyched up to tear everything out and put my gardening equipment away. I mean, the leaves haven’t even fallen from the trees yet, how can I tear up my beds when I don’t have anything to mulch them with? Sigh.

I did get my garlic bulbs planted finally–on Halloween, just under the wire for my zone (5a/b). As this past year’s garlic harvest was small, I ended up buying more seed garlic. This year I’ll be growing Chesnok Red, German Extra Hardy, Music, and Italian Heirloom. Already I’ve found a clove that my arch-nemesis, the chipmunks, have dug up–this past year I found several garlic plants growing in my lawn, where I KNOW I did not plant them. I assume this next year they’ll do the same.

Still on my to-do list (essentially, everything else):

–Plant the tulip, snowdrop, allium, and narcissus bulbs ASAP

–Trim the lilac and hydrangea bushes

–Trim the huge magnolia tree and juniper bushes by the front porch (I know the magnolia should have been trimmed in early summer, but I was still laid up from my surgery at that point)

–Clean off the back deck, which has been my de facto garden storage for the past six months (unfortunately)

–Clean and store all potting equipment

–Clean up the greenstalks: pull old plants, consolidate into one greenstalk that will stay out in the garden overwinter, and store the rest of it in the garage

–Clean up the basement so I can overwinter plants there

–and set up the seedling area again so I can grow lettuce, etc, overwinter

–which reminds me, I also need to CLEAN THE GARAGE so we can fit a car in it come winter;

–and, once the leaves fall, mow the lawn and mulch the hell out of my raised beds

–and set up my new compost bin for the rest of the leaves (we get upwards of 20 bags of leaves each year)

And do this all in freezing November temperatures with bad knees. Bah.

Wish me luck.

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