Month by Month in Your Edible Maine Garden is a new series brought to you by Incredible Edible Milbridge, a project of the Women’s Health Resource Library.  Each month, look forward to planning advice and chores for your edible garden.

Although the days are short and temperatures cold, there are still quite a few gardening jobs to tackle.

Order Your Seed Catalogs
order seed catalogsIf the seed catalogs haven’t started arriving in the mail, it’s time to hop online and request them. Here are a few of our favorites. Some, like FedCo, have lots of gardening “how to’s” packed inside, while others,  like The Cooks Garden, have recipes.

Add Lime to Your Garden
With little snow cover, we have a precious window of time to add lime to the garden. Lime provides the soil with calcium and promotes beneficial bacteria that help break down organic material. Sprinkling your garden with lime now gives it time to break down and impact the soil before the growing season. Two to three pounds of lime will cover a 100 square foot garden plot.

Update Your Garden Diary
Take the time to update your garden diary (or start one!). What worked well this year? What seed/plant varieties should you abandon and which should you plant more of? Consider a gardener’s journal as a Christmas gift for the gardener in your life (even if it’s you!).

Give Your Garlic and Asparagus a Winter Blanket
compost on garlic
There are not many plants that winter over in Maine, but garlic and asparagus can benefit from a little extra TLC. If you haven’t already, mulch your garlic to protect from frost heaves that can damage the root systems. Leaves, topped with a layer of straw to hold the leaves in place, are an excellent mulch for garlic. Asparagus will do well with a lightweight mulch like straw. For both of these plants, if straw is too expensive, consider mulching with white pine boughs. They’re light and airy and will hold their needles over the winter.

Harvest Seaweed
We are fortunate to have free access to a fabulous garden resource: seaweed. The big tides this time of year wash up lots of seaweed. Grab a plastic tote and harvest some seaweed to dress your winter beds and top off your compost pile. No need to worry about the salt from the seaweed.

Feed Your Compost Pile
Finish your end-of-season clean up and feed your compost pile. Rake up those errant leaves that have blown into the edges of the lawn and have become trapped under bushes.

Use Sand For Winter Walkway De-icing
The next few months will bring icy, slippery weather. Stock up on all natural sand for treating your sidewalks and steps. Salt and chemical deicers can leach into your soil and damage your plants. Remember, you are what you eat!

Until next month!

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