It seems as though Summer is drawing to a close. Most (if not all) of the schools around here are back in session. The heat is starting to subside, if only slightly. And our garden is starting to wind down.
I spend most of the year longing for warm weather, and then always end up feeling like it passes before I’ve really gotten to enjoy it. Blame it on the industry I work in: Construction’s busy season is the warmer months, and my work stress tends to spill over into my evenings. And age: Time seems to pass so much more quickly as you age!
Our main focus in the garden is always tomato plants, which are starting to show a little wear. I’d considered pulling up the cherry tomatoes, since the plants were looking ragged and starting to die off at the base. But then they found a “second wind”, and started blooming again. So, for now, they get to stay.
We got a late start to the season, since it was so wet during May and June. It wouldn’t have mattered, but we extended the garden, and Bryan wanted to till the new soil several times before we planted. Things didn’t get the start they should have before the hot weather hit. And then, the animals hit. Have I mentioned we live across the street from a state park? We have animals traipsing through our yard that I’m not even sure what they are! We put up a gallant fight, pulling out every old trick we could find, but it seems we may have lost the war. They munch on the tomatoes as soon as they start to show the slightest bit of color. They mowed down the corn as soon as little ears started to form. And our poor spaghetti squash plants must have had delicious leaves, as they ate every one as soon as it sprouted. The plant continued to vine out across the garden regardless, with little green stems sticking up where it’s leaves should have been. Eventually it wound it’s way between the cucumbers, which seemed to provide some refuge from the wildlife. We have one little squash that may actually make it!
Despite all of the animals, we’ve still managed to harvest a large amount of vegetables. More than we can eat, which has led to large amounts of canning and preserving. And this year, we’ve decided to try a “Fall crop”, which is a first for both of us. Last night Bryan tilled some of the now barren rows of our garden, while I planted a variety of radishes, lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, and sugar snap peas, all from seeds. These plants are supposed to do well with the cooler temperatures, and will hopefully mature before the frost hits.
Even if we don’t have great success, it’s nice to feel as though we can extend the growing season a little longer. After all, it won’t be long before the ground is frozen and dusted with snow. I’d like to hold on to the joys of Summer for as long as we can!
- Cindy W.