Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 11/25/13

It’s been a busy week at the homestead, and I think my garden is unsure just what season it’s in. The temperatures have fluctuated from the first frost to several days in the upper 60s and mid-70s to a high of 46 yesterday! As I write this, it’s below freezing with a wind chill of 27. In the Charleston area…before Thanksgiving. I think we’re in for a real winter this year. Tough for the garden, but the bright side is the cold weather just might kill off over-wintering insects, making things better in the spring. Well, despite the weather, I had some wonderful additions to the homestead.


Yes, I harvested a few things this week:

Kale harvest 24Nov13 SG

Turnip & beet harvest 24Nov13 SG


I’m harvesting my first crop of key limes and…the tree is covered in blossoms again! I just find that amazing. The other day, a half dozen bees were flitting among the blossoms, and I have new fruit growing. Of course, I’ve had to take the tree inside the past couple of nights. (It won’t handle temperatures below 40 very well.)

Bee on key lime tree 23Nov13 SG

Key lime babies 2 on 23Nov13 SG

Key lime blossoms 23Nov13 SG

And on Saturday, my package arrived from Stark Brothers Nursery. Yes, Sanctuary Garden Homestead now has purple passion asparagus, Pink Lady apple, Granny Smith apple, and Reliance, Marquis, and Concord grapes!

Trees arrive 23Nov13 SG

Next week I’ll share pictures and instructions on planting all my new additions!


In September, I cut back my raspberry canes in an effort to staunch the disease – or whatever – that was affecting them. (I’ll know in the spring if I was successful.) As I usually do in November, I applied cow manure compost (and a little sand for drainage) to my raspberry bed.

Raspberry bed with manure 23Nov13 SG

Because we already had our first frost, it was time to cut back the asparagus fern. Using loppers, I cut the stems, leaving a couple inches. Then I covered the bed with manure compost. There was so much fern, I couldn’t put it into my compost pile, so I added it to the campfire we had going (to warm us up when we got chilly).

asparagus cut down 23Nov13 SG

asparagus fern burning 23Nov13 SG

We also extended a garden bed (which contains rosemary bushes – see top of the picture) further along the side fence, so that it now covers the fence from gate to gate. We transplanted some bulbs/plants from pots (see bottom of the picture), and we planted the grape vines in the bed. (We’re going to espalier them on the fence.) I still have room to plant some spring bulbs or perennials in the middle section.

Side garden bed 24Nov13 SG

What’s happening on your homestead? Comment below!


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