Saturday, November 13, 2021

Calliope Corner Garden Update – Not Winter Yet

When I came home from three weeks in Brazil earlier this week, I was expecting (and sort of hoping) that the Pacific Northwest would be winterish already. With the garden all dormant and harvests completely done, the gradual tasks of cleaning up spent plants and all the gardening infrastructure (trellises, stakes, twine, and the watering timer system) can begin.

But practically the only winterish thing in my yard are the peach trees, which have truly lost most of their leaves. They must respond more to dwindling daylength than temperatures.

But not elsewhere in the garden – while the winter rains have arrived in seasonally normal amounts, we haven’t had a single frost yet, and the garden is largely lush, green, and still producing. Consider that this November 13 morning I picked a bowl-full of delicious raspberries. Mixed with plain yogurt, hulled hemp seed, and drizzled with honey, they were like a mid-morning, mid-summer snack.

Or how about my chiles de árbol, still leafy and ripening, producing what for me is a 10-year supply.

My Nicotiana alata is still blooming and being delightfully fragrant after dark.

The artichokes ‘Green Globe Improved’ that I sowed this spring are looking mighty lush. And look at that volunteer nasturtium in the background!

I didn’t have time to deal with the big crop of ‘Fuji’ apples before my tours began in late September, but there are still many salvageable (and delicious) apples on the tree, though the Varied Thrushes and Starlings have already started digging in.

The brassicas that I sowed in late July are maturing quite fast, and I had to squish a Cabbage White caterpillar on one of them.

Broccoli 'Jacaranda F1'

Brussels sprouts ‘Groninger’

Cabbage 'January King'

I was a bit concerned that it’s been so warm, my carrots won’t go dormant and provide me with delicious roots all winter before they bolt. I planted four varieties, and this one is ‘Giants of Colmar’ (named after a city in France very close to where I lived a year in Germany). It’s young (they apparently get 12 inches long) but certainly big enough to eat, and maybe winter will come soon enough (we do have 5 1/5 weeks of shortening days ahead of us still after all).

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