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Winding Down…Or Up…

Five years gardening here now and I still am never entirely clear about fall in North Carolina. In a normal climate, we’d be revving up for harvest, bringing in the sheaves, all that good stuff. (It is, in fact, the Harvest Moon next week.) The heat is oppressive, though, and under normal circumstances, we’d have another few weeks of summer before fall came along.

We are not under normal circumstances. This is the weirdest damn year most of the locals can remember.

I do feel better for having gone to the farmer’s market and talked to my local farmers. What’s happened in my garden is dead normal. Everybody’s tomatoes were meh, everybody’s cherry tomatoes went nuts and then petered out fast, everybody’s squash got the blight and fell over and died. Most people don’t even have as good a tomatillo crop as I do, and tomatillos are so rugged that they would probably grow on the surface of Mars.

It’s still kind of depressing to be under the harvest moon and have maybe a handful of grape tomatoes, a load of basil, and a bunch of beans.

The leaves are starting to turn, but that could be drought. From tropical rains, we’ve got to “normal” summer weather—humid without rain. That wouldn’t be a big deal, except that it was too wet early on and all the plants got shallow rooted and huge and now they can’t really cope.

There are little green acorns pattering down everywhere.

It was, despite the vegetable garden, a fabulously productive year in the garden. There are woolly-bear caterpillars on the weeds (there are still a lot of weeds, despite intense efforts in recent hours) and Fledgling Count 2013 hit a whopping 14 birds. At least one spicebush swallowtail survived to adulthood, and our tiger swallowtail count was off the charts. My new groundcover of choice, Hypericum buckleyii “Appalachian Sun” is kicking butt and taking names in the backyard. So I shouldn’t complain too much.

Theoretically we’re moving into fall planting season…probably…but I’ll be honest, I don’t have the faintest idea what’s going on with the weather, so I’m a bit leery of plunking down more perennials. Perhaps I will simply let the season wind down with little gardener supervision, and hope that next year is a little less peculiar.

Originally published at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there.


Our own garden didn't do so well...we had plenty of tomatoes, and I'm in missouri. I think it's cause of the hot weather, and little rain, though we had originally started out with lots of rain. Though really, I'm not the one gardening, my mother does it WAYYY more than I do, yet I still help out occasionally. (She's in her forties, I'm in my mid-twenties.)

I have to say I just found your journal. I LOVE your title. (bark like a fish, damnit!-giggles madly.)

Crops were goofy all over this year. Here in the midwest, the spring was wet and cool until late, so that the corn we'd normally see in mid-June didn't show up until the Fourth, and the tomatoes that normally ripen around the Fourth weren't ready until nearly August. I thought at first that a couple of the homeowners around here that normally plant enough tomatoes to sell just didn't, and then they finally put their signs up in August. *shakes head* Meanwhile, I already see pumpkins huge and ripe in the fields with Halloween still seven weeks away. Here's hoping they don't rot; the truck farms around here make a good deal of their yearly income off the pumpkin / corn maze crowd.

I haven't heard anything one way or t'other about the apple crop. At least we didn't have a late freeze that killed the blossoms.

I didn't have a garden this year because we built a new barn where my veggie garden used to be :(
My consolation prize is the gigantic acorn squash that self seeded on the manure pile. Produced the most tasty squash I've ever had, and no work was required!

Off topic comment is off topic...

Ursula I am in the middle of grading a third grader's assignment and had to stop and tell you this. Thought it would tickle you.

Question: What author would you choose (for a research project)? Why?

Student's Answer: I would choose Ursula Vernon because she wrote one of my favorite books, Dragon breath

Re: Off topic comment is off topic...

 photo 81b1d353-c260-4828-99e9-e3cf3d995073_zps3f61b0d2.jpg

ETA: Finished grading homework--feel like writing a book about helping verbs and future tense? LOL

Edited at 2013-09-12 06:50 pm (UTC)

Re: Off topic comment is off topic...

D'awwww! How awesome!