“Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn.”
– Michelle L. Thieme, August’s Crown
I knew we were headed for a cool down 2 weeks ago when I saw many hawks back in the trees along the NYS Thruway as I drove to work. And we have had a day here or there of cooler weather, but last week we saw many more days of cool weather thus far. The clouds are beginning to look different; lower, grayer. These are the clouds I expect to see in Fall and Winter. It is interesting to observe the subtle shift in the seasons as the sun drifts back toward the Equator.
I am just now getting to the yard maintenance I had hoped would be done in spring and summer, but it is OK since I can assess the gardens and decide what I can work on now and what I will put off until next spring. Doing more careful planning is paying off.
Here’s what is happening in my garden as we move to September…..
Some leaves are turning color and falling, but I suspect it is more from the drought than cooler nights since we have not really had many cool nights yet. Fall in central NY state is gorgeous most years. I love following the fall color from the higher altitudes to where I am just above sea level. You can enjoy it for even longer if you follow the fall foliage reports and make trips to see the colors.
The veg garden is still working hard. I have a few cherry tomato plants that are churning out tomatoes and my volunteer plants are doing great (bottom right). Fall garden is planted with peas, radishes, lettuces, arugula. It is growing but has been struggling under the continued heat of late. Perhaps with the cool down we may see stronger veggies putting out fall fruit. The center insert is a sweet potato. Coming along nicely but not quite ready to harvest. Want them a bit bigger. These are not the orange flesh variety. Not as fond of those. These have the yellow flesh. The left bottom insert is another variety of eggplant, ‘Rosa Bianca’. There are 2 on the vine.
And my Hatch green chile plants (top left). Growing out of control even in the pots in the front yard. Top right is ‘Yellow C Pepper’ in the same grow bag. The bottom left was what the green chiles looked like at the start of summer. Barely growing and in trouble. We made the soil a bit more acidic and added manure fertilizer, and this is what they look like bottom right. It is like a miracle. I had written them off as a failure and was almost ready to pull them. The lesson: Never, say never. We will grow these again from seed next year.
I hope to grow all my veggies from seed next year. To do so will mean I need to expand my seed growing capacity. So we plan to build a seed growing station in the basement. Shelves with heat mats and grow lights. I hope to grow herbs and greens all winter and then turn to the veggies and flowers I want to grow for next spring.
To accommodate all the veggies I want to grow, I decided that I needed another raised bed. So I bought a small 4×4 bed to match the others, and we will be putting it in this area. I will move some plants around to make room. Not much here anyway except weeds. I especially need more room for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and other veggies that crave full sun. The bed will be located bottom right.
We have begun the amendment of the left side of the yard where the horsetail grows. You can read my post outlining why we are doing this. We also need to amend this area for the berry bushes, and to replant the strawberry patch that was mostly choked out by weeds and grass. This was the strawberry patch. Hardly a plant left and mostly raspberries that moved here. They are setting fruit so once they are done I will move them to the other side of the large veg bed.
Can’t wait for the yummy berries although sparse this year.
With all the rain, the phlox is really putting on a show. Many other flowers are surging again and I can’t wait to see what happens after Irene departs Sunday. Winds gusting to 35 mph and a couple of inches of needed rain. Cool temps in the low 60s. Certainly feels like Autumn to me.
The pollinators have been so busy lately laden down and covered in pollen trying to get as much as possible. (Flying bees are hard to capture with my point and click camera) Hummers have been seen on tomato flowers and marigolds making sure they get to every possible bit of nectar. More juvenile robins were out in Irene Sunday filling up for their long trek South. They are leaving today. I thought I spied Prudence and siblings. I wished her well.
The first aster has finally bloomed. I can’t wait to see all the beautiful color of the asters in the garden and meadow. It is bittersweet to see the asters. I know Autumn and longer nights are not far off.
“When summer gathers up her robes of glory, and like a dream of beauty glides away.”
– Sarah Helen Power Whitman
Special Note: All flowers pictured here are from my garden. Flaunt your flowers at Tootsie Time this Friday where she hosts Fertilizer Friday. I’ll be flaunting mine. Also linking in with Beth at Plant Postings for her Garden Lessons Learned- end of summer meme.
Book Update-For those that have asked, my 2 poems are being published in the book, The Moment I Knew in early September. Publication is delayed due to a minor glitch with publication. I will keep you posted. You can see the announcement in my blog post. Information about sale of the book is forthcoming.
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