Time for end-of-season gardening

Kate Bratrude edges the lawn at the Community Education Garden along Western Avenue last October, while raised beds in the background are ready for fall cleanup. Bratrude manages the garden.

Heading towards fall means “the end of the season; now what?” That’s our final Third Saturday in the Garden event on Saturday, Sept. 18 at WSU Chelan/Douglas Master Gardener’s Community Education Garden on the northwest corner of Western and Springwater avenues in Wenatchee.

As we are cleaning up our gardens, helpful tips can make these jobs easier and give a head start toward next year’s improved gardening experiences. At least, that’s my prediction.

Avid vegetable gardener Mike Adams plans to cover several subjects: preparing herbs for winter, the whys and hows of soil testing, soil amendments, to till or not to till, cover crops and mulching. Adams is a serious garlic grower and will share tips on planting garlic and shallots for next year’s crop.

Bonnie Orr is back, this time encouraging us all to compost. “Compost does not have to be complex,” she stresses.

She will explain methods of backyard composting without requiring expensive equipment or a strong back. Learn what to add and what to leave out of your compost. You’ll see examples of compost at various stages of fruit and vegetable waste as it’s transformed into nice, friable soil amendments.

Tom Ernsberger will wrap up the educational talks by demonstrating how to clean and prepare your tools for winter storage, and the general care basics of tools. His advice, “Don’t just put them down and forget them without doing a little cleanup and care.” This keeps tools long lasting and is sure to make gardening easier on you next year.

Dan and Claudia Goodfellow are sponsors of this final Third Saturday event of the year, providing much appreciated funds to keep our educational garden thriving.

A bonus — don’t miss out on our first-ever gardener surplus sale, beginning at 8 a.m. the same day at the educational garden but away from the speakers’ program in the lawn under the large trees along Western Ave.

Featured items include educational and science supplies, used garden tools and more. Cash and credit cards only please.

“Selling these surplus supplies helps fund our various Master Gardener projects, including this garden and the many other gardens and events we support that help the community,” says Susan Peterson, Master Gardener Foundation president. “We’re looking forward to a great day with fellow garden enthusiasts as we find new treasures at our ‘garage sale.’”

As for our Third Saturdays in the Garden, we’re anxiously looking forward to a regular slate of them in 2022, beginning next May.

A WSU Master Gardeners of Chelan County column appears weekly in The Wenatchee World. Mary Fran McClure is one of four columnists featured. To learn more, visit wwrld.us/cdmg or call 667-6540.