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Pick and Pickle: Plant & Reap (next Summer)

While it may seem like this is the time to clear your plot, and start knitting or at least carving pumpkins,  it is also the perfect time to plan ahead and plant – garlic. Many different varieties of garlic are available but the one most commonly found around town is “Music”. Go local and plant organic, Ontario-grown garlic only.  Some  garlic bulbs will be deposited in the garden shed this week for communal use. Look for the brown paper bag with “Garlic” label.  First come first served, but for a small plot one bulb should suffice. Also, if planting in a small plot, try planting around the garden. Garlic is a lovely bug as well as kiss repellent.


Prepare soil for planting making a spot 4 ft by ft  (or whatever available). Turn over the soil to 8”  – 12”  deep add black earth and composted sheep manure to

Use a stick or a screwdriver to make a hole.

Just before planting break bulbs apart into cloves.

Place garlic clove into the soil with tip 1” to 2” below the soil surface.

Plant 6” to 8” apart.

Rake the earth back over the plantings then  pat it down for a firm even surface.

Water liberally .

If you want to thoroughly frost proof the bed,  apply a layer of straw over it.

Note: garlic planted in the fall generally has larger bulbs than spring-planted garlic.


 If the tomatoes on your vines are still green and you want to tidy your plot or feel that the official day ripening temperature of 60 degrees F seems iffy, pick them, and in the spirit that food is a gift of nature, don’t toss ‘em, use them.

If tomatoes are still ripening and there are bloom on the vine, taking off the flowers will give the toms a better change to reach full tom fabulousness.

 If almost ripe, bring them inside, and allow them to ripen full on your window sill.

 Pull up entire plant from root and bring it indoors. Do this before it gets below 60 degrees. Hang in partial light and the fruit will continue to ripen on the vine, which will give you better taste

Make  tomato sauce with them by mixing with your normal red tomatoes.  Adding sugar helps cut the acid of the unripe tom.

Wrap them in newspaper, layer in a box, and ripen them indoors in a dry dark cupboard or basement. Check regularly. If all’s well they should ripen in 3 – 4 weeks.

Place the green tomatoes in a paper bag with a ripe apple. The apple gives off ethylene gas which speeds up the ripening process.  Daily checks recommended!

Make green tomato jam/chutney.

Fry them the southern way – by coating them evenly  in a salt/cornmeal mix.

Bake with them – see our seasonal recipes page!


When clearing the plot, please dispose of plant waste properly. Gone to seed or diseased plants and weeds in the “hot” compost, please. The rest can be chopped up and put in the normal compost (hopefully they will be unlocked!).  Please don’t dump waste by your plot, or chuck it over the banking unless utterly necessary – our garden plants are not natural habitat. Also if lifting plants by the roots, remember to knock the earth back into the plot. You’ll need it next year.  To protect your perennials throughout the winter season, cover the bed with straw. You can also help discourage weeds and encourage nutrients by doing some “green manuring” – planting clover!



2 responses »

  1. I was very pleased to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. Big thanks for the useful info………………..


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