October garden update 2019 – it’s all over

Just like that, the garden season has ended. As quickly as it started, it has finished. That is all part of gardening in Northern Ontario. The season is short and generally speaking, on the cool side weather-wise. Yes even with these factors to contend with, it is possible to have a garden. It merely takes some work and dealing with a bit of a learning curve. Even a beginner gardener can manage if they put in the effort. The October garden doesn’t have much to offer in Northern Ontario. The growing season has ended, though a few stragglers still grow.

October garden update

What’s left in the garden

Absolutely nothing!

Okay, that’s not quite true. The horseradish is still there. However, after having it take up space for 3 years and not producing very large roots, I have decided this will be its final year. It will be quite a task to get rid of it, as horseradish is quite invasive. But I am determined to no longer have it waste space that could be used for more productive vegetables.

The chives are also still in the garden. Of all the plants in the garden, the chives are the first to grow and stay strong well into winter.

A few parsley plants remain as well. The parsley has done really well this year and I couldn’t be happier with it. The Italian parsley has done the best, however, the moss curled parsley, while small, it a sturdy plant that is still happily growing in a raised bed.

October garden update - moss curled parsley is still growing
Moss Curled Parsley

The lavender is also still alive. It took a bit of a hit during our first frost but has bounced back quite a bit. In fact, it just started to put out flowers this month. Ths flowers have since died off, after a few frosts, but the plant itself is still quite healthy.

Technically, there are also a few broccoli plants remaining. These have gone to seed and at this point, I am merely waiting for the seed pods to dry out so I can save the seeds. I am hopeful that this will happen and the plants won’t suddenly shrivel and die from the cold.

What was harvested this month

Though there wasn’t much at the beginning of the month, I was still able to get some items harvested.

Our parsley is the winner when it comes to harvesting. By this time, I was tired of harvesting the dang thing. However, I’m not about to say no to more herbs in my pantry. So, I ended up harvesting it two times this month. Most of the parsley has been dried for future use, but we did use some fresh.

The Swiss Chard was something I grew on a whim, as I had a small space left and only a few seeds worth of it. The plants did alright but certainly struggled during our oddly warm summer. The harvest was small, just enough for a single dinner, but I must say it was delicious. Even the boy gobbled it down and said we need to grow it again – I call that a major win!

Carrots were the main harvest. This happened on a very cold day with a mix of rain and snow falling as I pulled those amazing orange roots. The carrots are always the last item to be harvested in the garden. They are also the plant that has the longest growing duration. Every extra day I can give them will lead to a better harvest. More often than not, like this year, I end up harvesting the carrots in the cold and snow. I’m pretty sure the cool weather, and especially a couple of frosts, make them taste even sweeter than normal.

Front flower garden

Much like the vegetable garden, the flower garden has also come to an end. The plants held on pretty well throughout the first half of the month. However, once the first frost hit they quickly died off. The only thing that remains in this garden, besides a few weeds, is the mint chocolate. I harvested and dried most of the plant but left a small bit behind. One sprig of the plant was also propagated indoors so that I can enjoy the smell all winter long.

So ends my October garden update. I’m always a bit sad when the gardening season ends but now I get the look ahead to next year’s garden.

Do you still have plants in your garden or has the cooler weather ended it for you? What was your favorite plant that you grew this year?


    1. Fingers crossed the frost doesn’t get them. I took the year off from growing tomatoes because they really don’t do well where I live.

  1. Looks like a good way to wrap up the gardening season. Your carrots look divine!

    1. Thanks. I’m quite pleased with the carrots. A few of them were huge!

  2. I try sowing some mint seeds and other nothing happen. so i will get a next try cause i really want to have for next year…. and it is nice to see that you have complisged something in your garden.

    1. I’ve never tried to grow mint from seed. Perhaps you will have better luck with seedlings.

  3. We have two volunteer tomato plants that came up this year – one in the flower bed in the front of the house and one in the back of the house by the porch they are still producing a couple of tomatoes – but other than that everything is done!! Your plants look beautiful. My youngest and I tried an herb garden this year and our housesitter forgot to water them for us in July and they died. Maybe next year and we will put some jugs with pin-holes to self water while we are away.

    1. I love volunteer plants. It’s always such a fun surprise when they pop up. It seems the only volunteers I get are weeds, haha. That’s a shame about the herb garden, but the jug watering system is a good idea for next year.

  4. Love gardens and miss mine in Australia currently helping plant a garden in tropical Cambodia totally different environment than yours, enjoyed your blog immensely. Thank you

    1. Wow, planting a garden in Cambodia sounds like quite the experience. What did you plant there?

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