Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Seasonal Gardening Sadness

It happens every year.  The sunlight grows a little less warm.  It slants more instead of beating overhead.  The tomatoes slow down and the summer squash falls victim to powdery mildew.  Leaves turn brown and drop.  There is something beautiful about fall.  Welcoming.  A promise of quiet and a house smelling like pumpkin pie.

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.


Beth said...

There is a real sadness in "putting to bed" the garden for the year. It is by far my least enjoyable task and I tend to proctrastinate for all I'm worth!

Lexa said...

I agree totally! The winter squash I pulled out had some baby one still on the plant. My mind knows that there isn't enough warmth left to mature them, but it breaks my heart! I ekpt the tomatoes in ..for a few more weeks at least.

Green Bean said...

I'm glad I'm not the only gardener who dreads the end of the summer gardening season - even as I embrace the rest that comes in fall.

Urban Gardens said...

I'm still pretty new to all of this, so I haven't much experience with fall gardening. I was very ready to get rid of my summer garden. It was an experiment that went wild. lol!!! Hopefully next year I will be a bit more organized. Your flowers look beautiful!


Green Bean said...

Lol, Lynn. I certainly understand being ready to let the summer garden go. Now that my garden is all tucked into bed for the winter, I am enjoying the uncluttered feel - and the lack of work up there. Now I can focus on making holiday gifts!


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