But it also signals a time to clean out the garden. To put down sheet mulch and cover crop. Tuck in peas and garlic and greens. But there's only one problem . . .
To put all those things in you have to take something out. Something that, while not completely done, is nearly there.
I'm ready to put my peas and Chinese cabbage in but which tomato plant should go? The sungolds will produce through Thanksgiving. The yellow pear can go the distance as well. Betty with its big ole green lobes waiting for a heat wave to turn could go but her stocky limbs are intertwined with a long-lasting heirloom.
And I'm ready to put in the sheet mulch. Exactly where next year's pumpkin patch will go. Full sun. As attested by the still blooming zinnias - a blur of fuchsia and orange.
The cardboard is the beginning of my sheet mulch. Farewell zinnias.
The cover crop? A tangled mixture of fava beans, peas and vetch that harbored beneficial insects and a toad last time I planted it in a large area. That is scheduled to go over above sheet mulch and in between my citrus - you see. Right where alllll those flowers are currently blooming . . .
But fall gardening is a Catch 22. Let summer have her last laugh and you won't have time to plant your fall edibles. Or tear out the vestiges of summer's bounty and bid a premature farewell to her slowly turning tomatoes and poste haste peppers.
Almost every year, I choose the latter. But that doesn't mean I don't feel the sadness of seasonal gardening as I do it.
* I'm linking to Tuesday Garden Party with this post.
* More on gardening, chickens and homestead holidays at my Facebook page.