Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Years ago Kurt Vonnegut wrote an observation of the seasons that divided the year into six rather than four seasons. Winter was a season of two months -- January and February. It was flanked on either side by the two new seasons. November and December became the season called "Locking" and March and April became the season called "UNlocking." The idea is that nature needs a time of shutting down before the onslaught of winter and a time of opening up slowly before the fruition of summer. It actually makes good sense when you think of it. It places Fall squarely in September and October where it belongs and Summer in July and August.

So true to Vonnegut's new scheme I have been going around "locking" things up in the garden. I have made a new iteration of deer fencing for my young apple trees. I also set up the wall-o-water around my rosemary to help it over winter. I do that by trimming it back and placing a plaster bucket over it and slipping the wall-o-water over the bucket while I fill its sleeves.This form of overwintering has worked for rosemary, so I tried it last year on my artichokes and it failed. But last winter was particularly harsh, so I am trying it again though admittedly with a less hardy variety of artichoke. These are Green Globe. And I adjusted my game a little. I let them grow into the light frosts of November December. Then I cut them back to 12 inches of leavesand then I mounded them with grass clippingsand finally added the wall-o-waters.I harvested the last of the rutabaga, carrots, greens and Brussels sprouts. I will leave the parsnips in the ground for spring dug parsnip chowder when I return.And last, but not least, I removed the dead asparagus ferns to the brush pile.


Thomas said...

Good luck with the artichokes this year, Leslie! Hopefully we will have a mild winter this year...though you would not know if by looking at this week's forecast...we are expecting it to drop down to the teens!

The walls of water seem interesting. I will have to read up on them.

Also, I think I will be ordering imperial star artichoke seeds from Johnny's. I was wondering if you had experience growing that variety. I was also wondering when you started your seeds.

Leslie said...

Thomas, I have had better results with Green Globe Improved (Reimer Seeds) both in successful germination and plant hardiness and productivity. IF I am not away skiing, I like to start my seed in mid February. But I have had success starting as late as early April indoors and transplanting out in mid-May.