Sage Hill Gardens

On Second Thought~

October is the month for cleaning up, cleaning out and pre-preparations for next spring.

Does it ever slow down? Just a wee bit for a very short period of time, that happens here in Tennessee about the last of November.

We here at Sage Hill are a little ahead of the game in some things and a bit behind in others.

I suppose most farmers are in the same position. You do what you can when the elements are working with you and fill in where you must.

I was surprised this past week with a cold front, we were lucky it wasn't the first frost, so things are still fine. But it got me on the move with cleaning out beds, and adding mulch and cover for the things I want to protect from the harshness of winter.

My main focus this time of year is of course getting the things I wish to overwinter inside and protected.

Unless you have a green-house or a heated basement with plenty of light….be cautious in the manner you over-winter. Even though plants are dormant, they still need some water and must have plenty of light.

But aside from that is the preparation of the soil for next year’s gardens.

Be really careful about what you compost back into your soil. Any plants that look sick or diseased in the slightest way should be pulled up and discarded. (Do not put into your compost pile) All others I allow to die down and rot back into the soil.

If you’re like me you still have beautiful oregano, it is a perennial in my region, slows down but doesn’t completely stop growing. I’ve allowed mine to flower, cut and dried, makes a lovely fall display for a short time… then toss into the compost.

Thyme should be mulched for winter protection. But you can continue to use it all year; in fact you should continue to pinch it back so it doesn't get leggy.

I like to spread a little sand around the base of my thyme for the winter, just to make sure the stems don’t get root rot. This is especially good to do if you have a very wet winter.

If you wish to have an extra early spring crop of dill, you should plant it by mid November.

Please practice being a good land steward.....don't use dangerous chemicals, instead look for and learn about the natural ways to care for your soil, it will thank you with rich and bountiful offerings. You and your family will be healthier and future generations will have a fighting chance to enjoy Mother Earth too.

The last “How To” class for the year is scheduled for October 22nd (Thursday) from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM…includes a light lunch. (A tour of the garden beds, preparation for winter and composting information.)

$ 25.00 per person

(note: price is reduced because…another class on “Delicious but Healthy-Holiday Eating” is scheduled for November…don’t want my regulars to be overwhelmed!

Wishing you a wonderful autumn season.

**Color is beginning to appear in the Tennessee Valley , the ridges and mountain range…from the last week of October to the mid part of November promises to be the best time.** It is a sight to behold!

Bea Rigsby-Kunz
Sage Hill Gardens

32 Old Petersburg Pike
Petersburg, Tn. 37144