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Over the last couple of weeks I have been slowly putting my edible garden "to bed," leaving in only the hardiest cool weather veggies, and pulling out and composting the spent ones.
Although, this year I am leaving my garden and yard a bit messier, with the hope of it becoming an over-winter habitat for those butterflies that seemed to skip my garden beds this year.
Still growing now are the Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, kale and a few lettuces, all cultivations that can withstand a dip below freezing.
The cool season beets, which I could have held out to harvest, I didn't.
Since planting those seeds in mid-August, I have had plans for them.
My culinary herbs I have potted and brought inside.
All this, I realize now, has been done with way-too-dull snips, trowels, shovels.
But better late than never, this season I learned first hand how to care for my gardening tools from doing some research, and chatting up my friend, and local Oak Park gardening pro, Don Nekrosius.
This life-long educator is an active volunteer with the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener program in Oak Park and Chicago, and conducts lots of public educational programming around the area, and at the Oak Park Conservatory from time to time.
In under 15 minutes, here are a few of his nifty garden tool care tips to help us backyard gardeners correctly put our tools to bed, too.