What’s Growing on in the Garden: October 2022

As we say farewell to October, I feel an underlying sense of urgency in the garden. I know that winter is on its way. I have crossed off many items on my fall gardening checklist, but still, many things remain. I know that I need to work quickly to complete the tasks before the first snowflake flies. Yet, despite that urgency, I try to remind myself to slow down and soak in all that the fall season has to offer. To pause and witness the leaves that have changed, providing a colorful carpet in the landscape. To revel in the cooler temperatures that make working in the flower beds much more comfortable. And to take a moment to appreciate nature and the cycle of the seasons. It is fall, and we are nearing the finish line of our growing season. Before we know it, the beds will be covered in a blanket of snow, and I will be covered in a blanket on the couch, planning our next season. But first, let’s share what’s been growing on in the garden in October.

The Main Cutting Garden in Early October
Sweet Alyssum Continues to Bloom into the Fall
Fall Arrives on the Farm

With our first hard frost looming, I harvested the remaining edibles, including the last of the snacking peppers, which were chopped and placed in the freezer for use during the winter months. The freezer is now stocked with corn, peppers, tomatoes, blueberries, blackberries, and pureed pumpkins, all waiting to add a taste of summer to soups, stews, loaves of bread, and desserts. Our lettuce and beets are still growing strong under their protective row cover and made it through the past two touches of frost like champs.

Freshly Picked Peppers Are Prepped for Freezing

I also harvested the last of the flowers this month. This task is always bittersweet. I hate to see them go, but I’m also anxious to get the beds cleaned up before the first snowfall. On October 29th, we got our first hard frost, ending our growing season. The glorious dahlias, so beautiful the day before, were turned into a pile of soggy mush once the frost hit. I’m glad that I enjoyed the last hurrah while I could.

One Last Dahlia Harvest
Enjoying the Last of the Season’s Blooms
Sensation Cosmos Provide Nectar for Bees Well into the Fall
The End of the Growing Season Is Always Bittersweet
Our First Hard Frost Hit This Month
The Frost Finished off the Dahlia Patch

After the frost, I worked on clearing out the annuals and dahlia foliage so that the beds could be prepped for winter. I will wait another week before digging, cleaning, dividing, and storing our dahlia tubers- a labor-intensive task that gardeners and farmers dread each season. Once all the beds get cleared, they will get a layer of compost and shredded leaves. Then, in the early spring, they will be ready for planting.

The Flower Beds Are Cleared to Prep Them for Winter
A Labeled Dahlia Awaits the Process of Digging, Dividing, and Storing

I managed to clean all of my pots and supports in October and got them safely stored away. My tools will be next, as they all could use cleaning and sharpening before being put into storage. We also stored all decorations, seating, and hoses (after being drained) to protect them from the snow and cold temperatures.

Miraculously, I planted all of my bulbs this past month. All 1225 tulips, daffodils, and allium bulbs made it into the ground and are awaiting their spring debut. I also added several bare-root peonies to a new bed I created. Finally, our garlic made its way into the new raised bed my husband and son built me and were tucked in tight to withstand winter’s chill.

Tulip Bulbs Planted This Month Will Make a Beautiful Spring
A New Raised Bed Is Ready to Be Filled with Soil and Planted
Garlic I Grew This Summer Will Be Replanted for Next Season’s Crop
Goodnight, Garlic We’ll See You in the Spring!

Throughout October, I saved seeds from all of my favorite blooms and harvested and dried others. The seeds will be planted next season, and the dried flowers will be used in winter projects. It was my first time drying flowers, and I learned a lot. I’m happy with the results and have noted to dry more blooms next season. Dried flowers extend the season and allow you to enjoy the rewards of your garden well beyond the growing season. One of the fun projects I completed was creating festive holiday mini pumpkins adorned with flowers grown, harvested, and dried right here on our farm. I can’t wait to see them placed on holiday tables to bring a bit of festive cheer.

Saving Cosmos Seeds
Harvested Flowers Ready for Drying
Festive Mini Pumpkins Decorated with Flowers Grown, Harvested, and Dried Here on the Farm

Lastly, we made a bit more progress on the floral studio this month. With my family’s help, I moved all of the supplies I needed down to the studio. They are organized within arm’s reach of the workstation, making creating bouquets and finding tools much more efficient. Having my tools stored so close to the flower beds will make a huge difference next season. I also added special touches that make the studio feel inviting and reflect my personality. Finally, signage and decorations I’ve been gathering and storing for the better half of a year made their way into the studio. There is still some work to do, but I’m so excited for this project to be nearing completion. Next season I hope to create bouquets and arrangements in the new space while looking out at the rows of flowers. It’s a dream nearly 15 years in the making, and I’m ecstatic that it is finally coming to fruition.

Little Details Are Starting to Make the Floral Studio Feel Complete
I Love This Potting Shed Sign over the Door
I Had to Go with a Bee Theme, from the Hooks Holding My Sunhat to My Flower Arranging Apron
I’m Excited for All of Next Season’s Possibilities

That’s what’s been growing on in our gardens this past month. What’s been growing on in yours? Happy fall, and good luck completing your fall garden tasks. I’m right there with you. We can do it, the finish line is in sight! So remember, during those days of hectic (sometimes frantic) tasking, take time to stop and enjoy the process and the season.

Happy Fall!

4 Replies to “What’s Growing on in the Garden: October 2022”

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