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COLUMN: Pull it, sort it, save it: Time to put the garden to bed

The garden is almost ready to be tucked in after a busy growing season

It seems that just last week, I was enjoying a lovely, refreshing swim in Okanagan Lake.

Yesterday, I was madly hunting for some thick socks to warm my chilly toes.

Of course, that last swim was actually on the Labour Day weekend when we were basking in the 30C sunshine.

With the passing of just a few weeks, we seemed to have truly turned the corner into fall.

The evenings are drawing in and quilts are finding their way to the foot of the bed and the garden is almost ready to be tucked in after a busy growing season.

If your garden is a wild and tangled mess like mine, hunting for those ripening tomatoes becomes a game of search and find.

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The flowers are loving this cool, rainy weather and I am soaking up all that brilliant colour to last me through the dreary winter months.

My fall salad greens are nicely sprouted and the cold-frame is ready for the first hint of frost overnight.

Performing these end-of-summer tasks gives me a chance to ease into fall and start casting my thoughts to next year’s garden.

If you borrowed some seeds from the Seed Library, now is a great time to start thinking about saving seeds from the plants in your garden that are past their prime.

We are finding that folks are not necessarily returning the same type of seeds they borrowed, and that’s perfectly fine.

Although drying and saving seeds may seem daunting, it’s actually not that complicated. Of the many books on this subject available in the library, try The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds, by Robert Gough and Cheryl Moore-Gough or Preserving Your Own Seeds for Your Garden, by Katie A. Murphy.

For those of you already thinking towards next year’s garden, try Starting Seeds, by Barbara Ellis to get a good idea of starting seeds at home in early spring.

As we move toward the end of the growing season (some of us with reluctance) there are many experts in our community that we can learn from.

On Oct. 8 join us for Discover, Learn and Enjoy from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Library Meeting Place. The Friends of the Summerland Ornamental Gardens will be hosting sessions on seed saving, water conservation, weed control and pollination. The sessions are drop-in and free.

Sue Kline is a weekend gardener and the Community Librarian at the Summerland Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library.

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