Though a heat wave is abating, the early signs of fall are in the air. A few leaves are beginning to turn and the sun has started to set over the hill much earlier than has been typical for the past few months. In another few weeks, the back yard will be in the shade at 2 pm, contributing to the moistness the lawn typically expresses this time of year. Another sign of fall is too much of everything in the garden and with the expansion of my vegetable garden, we are suffering under the weight of the harvest.
Perhaps planting 30 tomato plants was at least 10 too many, but we have been pulling 5+ pounds from the garden nearly every day. As a lark, I planted pickling cucumbers and have been rewarded by pre-pickles the size of door stops. Dragon egg cukes have come in like clockwork and squashes of all types are being harvested daily.
In the beginning, the squashes were being consumed by a chipmunk or other local creature but after a while it too has become bored of the fare and has elected to leave them alone.
With so much produce we have been giving away cucumbers and tomatoes with abandon and started to can what no one will take. Last week we put up nearly 24 jars of tomatoes, salsa and pickles.
As I have been harvesting tomatoes, I have also been trimming and throwing out large chunks of infected plants. This year because of an unending stream of construction projects at home, I have not been keeping as good a track of my gardens as in years past. So when viruses started to appear, I did not spray them with neem but rather let them take their course.
When the garlic came in last month, there was barely enough room on the racks in the greenhouse to let them dry. I covered them with newspaper to keep down the sun exposure and last week I finally got around to cutting the stems to store them in the garage. Bunches of oregano and basil hang in the garage next to the fly paper, both waiting to be taken down in the next month as one becomes needed for cooking and the other a grim reminder of many of the things that come and go when you leave the garage door open all day.
The evenings have started to cool and the good sleeping weather of last week with temperatures in the 60s will dip this week to the upper 50s. I have yet to plant the fall peas, carrots and greens. I hope to get to these chores with Charlotte later this week or early next. If I put things off any longer, the garden will go to sleep much earlier than it has in the past.