Around The Farm
As we swing into the shank of the growing season, most of the gardens in EECO Farm have been shut down. Some of the more experienced gardeners have their cold frames working already as we have had first frost this year over the weekend of November 1st.
The main water lines have been shut and the PVC pipes underground have been blown out and winterized but, as usual, the frost-proof hydrant (it looks like a hand pump) over by the Tool Shed pulls water directly up from the well and will stay available through the winter. You will need to supply your own bucket.
NOTE: The automatic gate will be switched back to MANUAL on Monday, December 2nd. Yes, you will soon need to exit your vehicle and use the bungee cord to open and securely close the gate until next Spring.
Please also remember that our Tool Shed will be locked up shortly after the Thanksgiving weekend and the wheelbarrows will be locked away for the winter as will the weed wagon and tractor. The portable restrooms will be removed by December 1st.
Do remember, however, that EECO Farm is open every day of the year — no matter the weather — and our gardeners may visit any time they wish during normal business hours (5 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
Now that we at EECO Farm have experienced “first frost” (calculated as the first sustained night temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but above 32 degrees) any day after that is a great time to put in your garlic. EECO Farm is in Zone 7 so choose any garlic bulb variety (e.g., “Music” or “Inchelium Red”) rated hardy for at least Zone 6, or above, and then plant the separated cloves pointy-side up in lightly composted soil about 4 inches deep. Plant in rows that are 6 inches apart (7 is better, if you have room) and space the cloves about the same distance from each other. AFTER the first freeze, mulch the garlic with 4 to 6 inches of stray. If all goes well, you will be able to harvest in early-to-mid July.
Shutting down your garden for winter is relatively easy if you take the minimalist approach and simply pull out everything that is dead. That works fine for veggies and annuals — but you must be careful as many perennial plants that come back in spring can die back totally to the ground and just “play dead”. You don’t want to accidentally pull out your crocus, dianthus, rudbeckia, (a/k/a, black-eyed Susan), Asian poppy, tiger lily and the like!
Marking your plant locations and what they are named is something to do now. Usually cutting stems to 6 to 8 inches above ground is fine for day lily, iris, coneflower, stasis, Joe Pye weed, phlox, goldenrod, salvia, gladiola, sedum, nepeta (catmint), yarrow, ironweed, all daisies, hostas and grasses, etc. Remember to remove all the cut-off debris from your garden — especially if you have had an issue with insect infestations (don’t let their eggs winter over!) or any kind of mold, which can have spores survive to next year.
EECO Farm recommends that all gardeners prep their gardens now for an early spring planting so put down mild organic fertilizer (such as properly composted manure) covered by a few inches of our freshly delivered compost. Saves work later.
Please clean up as much of your garden as you can so weeds don’t go to seed and blow into your neighbor’s gardens or our common areas. NOTE: EECO Farm reserves the right to clean out especially egregious situations of overrun gardens and we will bill the renter for the clean up!
This is the last newsletter from EECO Farm until March 2020 and the entire Board of Directors wishes everyone a healthy winter and joyful holidays and New Year!
Please remember your garden’s full one-year renewal for 2020 is due no later than March 31, 2020 and you can now make your lease payment using a credit card or PayPal.
If you do not intend to return to EECO Farm in 2020, you will be missed, but please tell us as soon as possible so someone on our long waiting list can now have their own garden. Thanks.
PLEASE NOTE: The Board has decided to close EECO Farm between the hours of 10pm and 5am, seven days a week. Anyone found at EECO Farm during its 7 hour closed period (for any reason) without prior Board approval, will be considered to be trespassing and subject to all local applicable laws governing trespass.