Sep 12, 2013

September Garden

Well, a lousy summer (for gardens, not people!) is finally coming to an end. I’m ready to put a good portion of this garden out of its misery. Sigh. At least I can take comfort in the fact that my gardening zealot neighbor’s garden looks just as bad as mine, if not worse. With a few exceptions, this has just been a ridiculously bad year! And again please ignore the ridiculous amount of weeds on the garden paths… it’s hard to find time to weed with a toddler. If it’s not taking resources from my plants, it just hasn’t been a priority.

My zinnias are finally tall, just in time for fall! Late, late, late. Of course I’ll be able to continue to harvest flowers until frost, but I think that’s going to be sooner than later. It’s just that kind of year. My one surviving dahlia is still alive, but not thriving (the other one died from bulb rot). The snapdragons did fairly well, but overall this bed was empty and sad for most of the summer. In year’s past I can barely walk around it because its usually bursting with flowers.

The zucchini and yellow squash vines are (still) dead, thanks to the squash vine borers in July (I think I’m going to skip a year to see if that helps break the cycle). The cucumbers were pretty average - we had a great crop until the vines succumbed to the powdery mildew that seems to show up every August. The musk melons were a disappointment, they only reached the flowering stage before the powdery mildew set in. The vines stayed small and we never saw fruit - just flowers. Boo.

This bed is even more pathetic than a month ago. The blight has obliterated what was left of these sad, decimated, stringy plants. There are still a handful of tomatoes left that I’m going to just pick and let ripen on my window sill. It’s time to pull up these tomato plants. My marigolds can stay - it’s been a banner year for them, I should have put some in the flower bed as well!

Beans, Chard, Herbs, etc.:
We got our first green beans on September 1st! It’s so crazy, they normally start producing in July. It’s just a testament to how weird this year has been. My swiss chard has been unstoppable and I’ve never seen basil do this well. Ever. Usually oregano is the powerhouse of my herbs, and this year it’s barely scraping by. The thyme is scraggly and the rosemary died months ago. The few carrots that sprouted are thin and sickly… who knows if we’ll even get any of those this year.

Peppers in Pots:
My potted peppers were mediocre this year, but again it’s been a bad year. We had some peppers, but less than last year.

We spent the entire month of August eating very tart blackberries. There were so many! I don’t think we’ll have quite as many next year, the strange summer has limited the bush’s growth and blackberries only produce on 2-year-old growth (and then it dies off). The fig tree is doing marvelously. It’s now as tall as me and we have a total of 5 little figs on it! The blueberry bushes are all still alive, though their leaves are turning a beautiful bright red for fall. I am looking forward to when they are big - the foliage will be spectacular in the fall.

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