I am not ready to let summer go. The last day of summer was this week; however, it seems like summer has been gone for a whole month. Since August, the nights have already started getting cooler. Once September rolls around, the nights seems a little nippy to me. Reaching for my coat, brought sadden to my heart since I knew that frost was right around the corner and the end of my garden was in sight.
It seems just like yesterday, I was planting my spring crop. I eagerly wait for Mother’s Day since the fear of frost is hopefully past. (Some eagerly wait for Mother’s Day for the breakfast in bed and kisses and hugs. I am lucky I get a grunt that is supposed to mean “Happy Mother’s Day from my kids.)
With a snap of a finger, by August the nights seems to get cooler and I know that fall is right around the corner. I always lament that I wish I had a greenhouse since I am never ready for summer to end. My endless lists (according to my kids) never seemed to be completed by the end of gardening season. Isn’t the saying from Mae West, “too little time, too many men?” Well, I can adapt that to “too little time and too much to grow.”
Despite the cooler weather, my garden gains a second wind. My plants that were beaten down by the extreme heat of July and August seem to perky up and start flowering again. My green beans looked like goners with its shriveled up leaves and few remaining green ones. Just the other day, I noticed new green leaves forming and I am hoping for some more green beans for a fall harvest.
Nasturtiums are Thriving
Take a look at my nasturtium that looked like it was on its last legs in the beginning of August:
My nasturtium has come alive again flushed with beautiful orange color. Just in time for Halloween, don’t you think?
Sweet Potato Leave are Beautiful
My sweet potato patch is growing like a weed. It is the first time I have grown sweet potatoes. I keep feeling around the raised mound is there are any buns in the oven. Don’t feel any yet, but the ‘taters might be deeper than the mound.
By the way this is a northern variety which has a shorter growing period.
This bee was not being very cooperative as I was trying to shoot its picture. My fury friend was sucking the nectar form my Aster. This plant has a story in itself since I acquired it from a local garden club. Apparently, it was given to the club, having originated from someone’s garden, to sell as part of their fundraiser. I have never seen an Aster like this before. It stands about 3 feet tall and has grown like a weed with multiple stems. My other Asters have rounded pear like leaves and are much smaller. Has anyone seen this type of Aster? Is it an heirloom Aster, if there is such a concept?
Home Grown Corn
This is my corn that did not seem to grow as fast as it did last year when it was grown in a raised bed. I tried to grow it around the perimeter of the garden. Out of 18 seeds, only 8 corn stalks have grown. Notice the red silks. I have one ear that is growing nicely and I can’t wait to see what the ear looks like. This corn is an heirloom variety.
Roses, a Month After the Japaneses Beetle Attack
My roses are looking beautiful since the Japanese Beetles have disappeared. They ravished my roses and strawberries. Now, all the grubs are in my beds since the animals are tearing them up looking for the grubs at night. I guess this is Mother Nature’s circle of life.
Swiss Chard in Need of a Haircut
Swiss Chard is the most beautiful and indestructible plant I know. It does not care if it is hot or cold. It just grows. I previously wrote an article in the summer that I thought one of the plants was on steroids since it went to seed early in the season. This seemed really unusual. I recently cut it and used it to make a black-eyed pea and Swiss Chard dish and a bulgur and greens dish from the Moosewood low-fat recipe book. (See the bulgur dish below.) In just a couple days, the Swiss Chard just took off again. I think it enjoys being trimmed.
What is this, you must be thinking? It is my deformed carrot. This is my second year growing carrots. I tilled the soil about 12 inches and used alot of compost so that the carrots would be able to grow downwards. Guess what? I still got deformed carrots. I think I need to make a raised bed which is 18 inches in depth just for carrots and fill it will sand and compost so the soil is light enough for the carrots to being able to push through the soil as they grow. (See here about my issue with deformed carrots.)
I let this carrot grow for the longest time, so this explains why it is pretty wide.
Beets That Should Have Been Pulled Earlier
My, what a large beet you have, said Red Riding Hood to the Wolf. And the Wolf replied, “I hate to pull vegetables from my garden. I know. What is the point then?” I let this beet grow and grow until I came upon a beet and potato salad recipe. Think fuchsia potato salad! (See picture below.) As Rachel Ray would say,”Delish.”
I did not realize that most of my guests did not like beets. Although you really could not taste the beets, one of my guests would not touch it, since the dish reminded her of having to eat beets as a child. Bad memories.
I really waited too long to pull this beet because bugs were eating it when I pulled it. I noticed that my beet leaves were not very large compared to other organic beets that I purchased. Any ideas why? Also, the beet leaves were very mild and worked great in the Bulgar and greens dish that I made. (See picture below.)
With every day getting cooler, I am praying for a late frost. So much more to do. I have to pick my basil to make pesto, my tomatoes are still going strong, the strawberries are still producing, and my honeydew is still not ripe. (Go figure.)
Mother Nature, can you please give me another 60 days to continue gardening? I won’t ask for anymore extensions. I promise (as my fingers are crossed behind my back as I say this…)
Join the Conversation:
- What part of summer do you miss the most when Fall comes around?
- Do you hate when August rolls around too? (Or your fall equivalent month?)
- Any gardening wonders or mysteries growing in your patch?
Updated 12/11/2011: I grew Sweet potatoes again and boy were they bigger than life. Check out my sweet potato article. Oh, and there is the long fanged parsnips too. Why do vegetable grow so weird in my garden?