Garden Letdown.

by - August 23, 2011

It's that time of garden letdown. Where you've fought all summer to weed and water and keep the veggie plants healthy, but after one jaunt to the beach you return to find they have succumbed to disease, deer and disarray. Perhaps it is the oncoming fall, but I want to just let my hair down, kick my feet up and let it all go to hell in a hand basket.

This is the time of year I start taking notes. I must reduce the number of tomato cultivars next spring. I'm never planting Black Russian again - mind you have saved about fifty seeds from the one tomato my plant produced - because it is the laziest plant ever. I will add more compost and pull weeds more vigorously. I will remember to fertilize mid-season. I won't pamper the veggies with so much water early in the season next time. I'm sure you are familiar with the list.

Truth be told, the garden kicked my tail this season. Growth was high and wild; production was low. I made several meals from the beans, but it was nothing like my first summer with pole beans when I was able to blanch and freeze several gallon bags of excess. I'm not too devastated as this was the first year working with the soil; and creating paths, trellises, tunnels and an upcycled sink-pond fed my creative side, but in the end, don't we veggie gardeners measure success on the quality and quantity of food our garden yields?

It isn't all a loss. The okra has really taken off and I'm regularly breading and freezing new batches. The cherry tomatoes are still cranking out red succulent marbles of aromatic summer kisses, and herbs are piously tending to their own. The eggplant is finally coming in, but I don't eat it. The Italian climbing squash is a bumper crop this year, but the foot long greenish squash gives my husband the heebie jeebies.

The question is, to fall plant or not - or rather, how much to plant? I need to scale back for the season because of other work, but how can I resist those open patches of soil where I ripped out summer duds?

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  1. There is so much truth in your post! I'm going through the letdown phase now and am trying to look forward to the promise of more young plant vigor in the fall garden.

    Love your writing voice and style !


  2. Thanks, Alaiyo! Fall gardening can be really refreshing after a brutal summer. Hopefully I can get all the weeds out of the way in time.



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