Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fall gardening? It’s not even summer yet.

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!

1 comment:

Green Bean said...

Oh I know you're right. My raised beds out back are calling out to be planted with fall and winter veggies even as the tomatoes and cucumbers go gangbusters in the front. Thanks for the reminder.