Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fall Gardening Chores

The soft wind and the yellow leaves
Are having their last dance together.

–Harriet Eleanor Hamilton-King (1840–1920

Fall Gardening Chores
The Farmer's Almanac

Apples keep well for about six months at temperatures between 32 and 45 degrees F.

A Styrofoam chest or a double cardboard box in a cool mudroom or cellar can approximate root cellar conditions. Remember to give your apples an occasional change of air. Apple cider may be frozen after first pouring off a small amount to allow for expansion.

Store beans in a moisture-proof, airtight container. Beans will stale and toughen over time even when stored properly.

Onions and garlic: mature, dry-skinned bulbs like it cool and dry, so don't store them with apples or potatoes. French-braided onions and garlic are handy and free to get some ventilation as well.

Brush your root crops clean of any soil and store in a cool, dark place. Never refrigerate potatoes and apples together; the apples give off ethylene gas, which will spoil the potatoes. Clipping the tops of parsnips, carrots, beets, and turnips will keep them fresher longer.

Squash don't like to be quite as cool as root crops do. If you have a coolish bedroom, stashing them under the bed works well. They like a temperature of about 50 to 65 degrees F.

Put some parsley plants in a box and place the box in a light cellar or shed.

Put some frozen rhubarb roots in a barrel of dirt in the cellar, where they will produce stalks for winter use.

Dig up and store dahlias, gladioli, and other tender plants.

Plant hardy spring-flowering bulbs.

Clumps of sensitive chrysanthemums can be set in a cold frame for the winter. They will yield many divisions in the spring.

Clean, oil, and store lawn mowers.

Paint any garden structures that need it.

Clean up and burn diseased plants, spread manure, and plow the garden.

Rake up the fallen leaves and use them as mulch for flowers and shrubs. Hardwood leaves such as oak and chestnut contain more plant food than those from softwood trees.

To balance all the harvesting, do a little indoor planting, which will liven up the house later. Calla lilies and begonias can be planted now, and paperwhite narcissi can be started


The Quintessential Magpie said...

Now, that sounds like a lovely set of chores, Elizabeth!

I have to say that I got such a kick out of your header with the funny apron. LOL! I have a sign in my kitchen that says that no one has ever died there yet. ;-)

Hope you are enjoying a lovely day with your loved ones. I am getting ready to hit the ground running, but I wanted to pay a call first and thank you for your visit. Fortunately, the winds have died down, so I can freely move about without fear of becoming airborne, though my current state of "fluffiness" would likely render that impossible! ;-)



Sandy said...

Love this, Elizabeth. I'm adding to my RE facebook page! :)