That’s it, the first freeze occurred in Montreal last night, a sign that the gardening season is coming to an end. Are you late in your garden closing? Do not panic,we have some simple tips for closing your garden in no time!
Let’s start at the beginning – Why “close” a garden when you could leave everything as is?
Closing a garden means doing the last harvest and preparing the garden for the winter and for next season.
So, in practice, what does that mean?
For us, it’s all about three simple steps:
1) Harvest your fruit, vegetable and herb plants one last time.
2) Once everything is harvested, break up the plants and rest the branches and leaves on the ground to protect and feed the soil during the winter. If you have too much plant matter to handle, you can get rid of them by composting.
3) Be sure to store the water hoses during the winter in a dry, storage area.
And that’s all ! (However, you can take advantage of the closing of the garden to plant garlic in anticipation of next summer.)
In the spring, you will only have to remove the remaining plant debris, compost them and amend your land with compost before restarting the season!
How do you preserve crops?
There are many ways to preserve your surplus crops.
Herbs and edible flowers, for example, can be kept fresh for a few days but can also be dried to make infusions, frozen – as is, in ice cubes of water or oil depending on the type of herbs – to decorate dishes throughout the winter, or preserved in olive oil to create flavoured oils.
Vegetables or fruits can be cooked and canned, marinated, or simply frozen. You can also keep your root vegetables or tubers in the fridge or in sandboxes in a cool room. Remember that you can eat green tomatoes, but only after cooking! Look on the web, there are plenty of good recipes for not wasting them. If you want to discover ways of processing green tomatoes, stay tuned for our next blog post.