Preparing my Garden for Winter and Next Spring

An invaluable skill to acquire is gardening. I'm learning to grow my own food and deal with Quebec winter. November is the month to shut down the garden and prepare everything for the next year.

An invaluable skill to acquire is gardening. I'm learning to grow my own food and deal with Quebec winter. November is the month to shut down the garden and prepare everything for the next year.

An invaluable skill to acquire is gardening. I'm learning to grow my own food and deal with Quebec winter. November is the month to shut down the garden and prepare everything for the next year.

I live in Quebec, well known for its cold winter, therefore it's time to shut down the garden and prepare everything for next spring.

My fiance and I  are no experts yet at gardening. We are learning about permaculture, mulch, compost, scaling back and so on so next year we can have a beautiful wild garden. The goal is to have all useful plants working in a symbiosis, with a minimum of weeding.

I hadn't made a garden for the past 7 years and the backyard was in a pretty wild state... literally. In early May, we chopped down a lot of weeds and turned the dirt. We kept it simple as we wanted to slowly experiment and see what we liked. We planted vine tomatoes and herbs. They grew beautifully, except for the chamomile and thyme which were in the shade. Over the past few years a wild berry tree grew to the point of casting a big shadow over half the ground. On the other side, a gigantic maple tree was covering the rest. To add to that, our grape vine was completely out of control, growing all through the berry tree, fence and clothe line. It was beautiful, but not practical.

To prepare for spring 2015 and for winter, we decided to go ahead and cut down the berry tree. We also scaled back the grape vine, This year was the first year we got grape. Hopefully the scaling will make it come back in beauty and provide more strength to the fruits. We are also planning to replace that unidentified berry tree with an apple tree, but we will position it better.

We really want our garden to have a rustic and natural look. We want to avoid straight rows and controlled looks. We decided to reuse as much as possible of the cut down branches. We stripped them of twigs and leaves and stored them in a dry place in the basement to reuse them next year. We are hoping to build a little fence, gigantic tomato tripods as well as tutors for growing the three sisters (beans, squash and corn in the First Nations style).

To protect the perennial plants and give nutrients back to the dirt, we gathered all the fallen leaves and covered the entire yard with them. Most of them will turn to compost. Whatever has not decayed before spring will be put in a compost bin in April.

Before the first frost, we dug out the rosemary and brought it in the house. Even though said perennial, the plant is a little too fragile for Quebec's snowy winters. I made sure to  use as much dirt from the garden as possible, added an organic and ecological fertilizer and put the plant right by the sunny window.

Hopefully it will do well for the next 5 months. It seems to still be in good shape since it came in 2 weeks ago.

We also cut all the herbs and froze them for later use. This way, we will have fresh herbs for the next few months, until they start growing again!

Until we purchase a compost bin, we are using the back corner of the garden to drop our kitchen waste (all vegetable as well as egg shells). Mixed up with leaves and dirt, we get an incredible result!

The other side of the yard was also neglected and the large maple tree had been dropping tons of seeds and a small forest was growing all around. We had to clear a lot of that. it took a little while, but things are now getting back into shape. The cut branches are on the street waiting to be picked up by the city.

We are now ready for winter. Our next phase is planning. This will be a lot of fun!!

Who Am I? I'm many things. I'm passionate about tons of stuff. I love travel. I love self-improvement. I'm a sucker for optimization, efficiency, and minimalism. I renewed with mathematics and science, those are so amazing. Astronomy and chemistry are just plain awesome! I'm a student, a mentor, a traveler, a learner, an artist, an animator, and Disney brings me tears of joy! I love to grow and I will never stop! So who am I? All that and everything else I have not discovered about myself yet. It's a never ending answer!

Qui suis je? Je suis beaucoup de choses. Je suis passionné des tonnes de trucs. J'adore voyager. J'adore la croissance personnelle. Je suis vendue à l'optimisation, l'efficacité et le minimalisme. J'ai renoué avec les mathématiques et les sciences, des mondes tout simplement incroyable. L'astronomie et la chimie sont tout simplement génial! Je suis étudiante, mentor, voyageuse, artiste, animatrice et Disney m'apporte des larmes de joie! J'aime me pousser à fond et je ne cesserai jamais! Alors, qui suis-je? Tout cela et tout le reste que je n'ai pas encore découvert de moi-même. C'est une réponse sans fin!