Yes, I realize the calendar says late July. Tell that to my garden.
While I’ve been pleasantly surprised by our wet, cool summer – I think the warmest it’s been all month is 85 degrees – it’s not done much for my garden, other than the unauthorized additions. The weeds are thriving.
So when my fall gardening class began a deep discussion of plans for not only fall plantings but also plans for the winter, I was floored. Fall planting? It’s not September (when I drop in the garlic). And winter? Isn’t that five months away?
I started reading a book on four-season gardening, which hit the point home. Yes, you can have your seasons of gardening tasks: planting in the spring, weeding all summer, staring sadly at the remains in the fall. Or you can take a more ongoing approach. It’s more “do” and a little less do-or-die as far as planting and maintenance goes. And it means that you could be working – and reaping the rewards – for weeks and months beyond your neighbors.
’ll admit it’s taken a major shift in attitudes for me. After a decade of working in publications and the media, I’m comfortable in thinking seasons ahead for my day job. And I’ll be the first to confess I typically wrap up Christmas shopping by Labor Day. But planning for cool-season crops before the tomatoes turn red? It feels strange.
Still, I am slowly getting into the groove of thinking fall. I’ve flipped through a few Web sites and ordered a few fall garden catalogs, a few of which I’ve already had to steal back from my 4 year old. I’ve started marking up my garden plan, which I’ll post next week when I feel it’s a little more final.
In the meantime, if you have suggestions of things to start in my garden for fall, I’d love to hear them!