The (Season) End Is Near

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.

Comments

  1. I like the idea of a Fall crop. It will be nice for you guys to have the freshest possible veggies into the Fall.

    Your dog being in the yard doesn’t slow down the wildlife?

    1. My dog is blissfully unaware that wildlife even exists. Despite having acres of land to roam, she tries her best to only make short trips out to the little patch of grass by our front door. A couple of times a week we carry her out to the middle of the back yard and make her walk back to the house. She’s old (we estimate between 14 and 16, but she’s a rescue from a puppy mill, so we can’t be sure) and hard of hearing, but still very mobile, so we figure the walk is good for her. I’ve had to step in a few times when the squirrels have threatened and screamed as she stood there, completely oblivious.

      I think we get more scent of a dog from the occasional stray that roams through the yard, which isn’t very often. And, since my 8 pounds Pekingese can sleep through just about anything (benefit of losing her hearing), and has never figured out how to bark, she’s not even a deterrent for keeping robbers out of the house.

      Thank God she’s cute!

  2. Sounds like you have done really well! I really want to grow some stuff next year. Do you know what you can plant in the winter? Or is it only spring/summer? I’m such a novice, lol.

    1. I completely recommend gardening to anyone! I love watching the things we’ve planted grow and produce!

      It depends on where you are as to when you can plant. Most of our growing season involves planting in the Spring, and harvesting mid to late Summer. There are some plants that do better either early Spring or Late Summer, when the temps are a little cooler, but there isn’t frost. We just looked at the seeds we already had as to what we could plant again in August or early September.

      Our area does freeze during the Winter, which pretty much knocks out Winter gardening. Although, I’ve seen more and more people extending their growing Season into the Winter with row covers or little green houses. And I’m hearing more and more about “Winter Sowing”, but I haven’t looked in to what that is. I’m sure someday we’ll get more into that sort of thing!

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