Hands in the Dirt: MLT gardening tips for November 2020

Not much new to be done in the garden this month.  Clean up and prep for winter is still the name of the game.

The only annuals to plant in the ground are for harvest next year, including greens, peas, garlic, and flowers.  Planting now can get you a few weeks jump start on spring.

The average first frost in Mountlake Terrace happens around the first week of November, and our nighttime temperatures will be hovering around freezing in the next few days.  That means it’s time to take care of all of your water systems, pronto!  Drain irrigation systems, prep water features for winter, and cover your hose bibs.  The $3 faucet covers work well, but if they happen to be out of stock due to a certain pandemic, you can always improvise by wrapping an old towel around the hose bib and securing it with duct tape.

Now is a great time to cut back any dead or dying foliage on herbaceous perennials.  Birds enjoy seed heads, so if you can handle it, leave the seed stalks for visual interest and to feed our feathered friends.  Many perennials can also be divided now to fill in holes in the garden or share with friends.

There’s still time to get spring bulbs in the ground, but act fast as the selection in stores and online for tulips, daffodils, and crocuses may be getting thin.

Have a question about gardening?  Ask it on our Facebook page (facebook.com/mltbog)!

About the BOG

The Ballinger Organic Garden (BOG) is a volunteer-led effort to develop a community garden at Ballinger Park. The BOG, in partnership with MLT Recreation & Parks and the MLT Senior Center and funded by a grant from the MLT Community Foundation, is currently in “Phase 0” while larger construction activities (creek restoration and trail installation) are completed.  Phase 0 includes maintenance of the existing raised beds and a garden plot on the south side of the MLT Senior Center in Ballinger Park. Phase 1 will involve installation of a larger garden with plots available for community members to maintain.  Want to volunteer, or have an idea of what you want to see in the future garden? Please let us know.

To stay up to date on what is happening at the BOG, including what’s growing, work parties, and events, follow us on Facebook  or Instagram.

Robyn Rice grew up in Eastern Washington, pulling weeds and picking up rotten fruit as dreaded chores assigned by her Master Gardener father. Today, Robyn is a fisheries biologist for an environmental consulting firm, and has been gardening in the Seattle area since 2010. Her science background leads to endless research about the “correct” way to do things, but her enthusiasm and sense of adventure leads her to garden fearlessly because hey, what’s the worst that could happen?


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