I really do have a love/hate relationship with Fall. I love the cool, crisp air and the changing colors. I HATE the fact that it is officially time for me to start wrapping up my garden for the winter. I have not had much of a chance to care for it since school started and I faced a MAJOR flood at the end of August, but I will still have a fairly good harvest to help get me through the winter.
My dreams of having a complete 3 season garden have been dashed. But that is the life of the gardener. You learn to handle these things in stride, thanking God for all of the good things that you were given and reminding yourself that the bad things really could have been much worse. My gardening season started in the spring with a horrible late frost that wiped out my strawberries and set back a good deal of my other seedlings. The Everbearing strawberries came back with a VERY modest crop in June and NOTHING in September. I really wasn't surprised. (As an aside, my hydrangeas did not bloom this year either. Late frosts are a nasty way to start a garden season.) My peas were set back a bit by the frost, but they bounced back eventually and gave me a nice harvest until my sworn enemy Powdery Mildew arrived in the summer and killed them. Ol' Powdery came back to visit my peas again this fall when we had a LONG string of hot and humid summer like days. :( My carrots were fantastic all 3 seasons. My freezer runneth over with bright orange coins of carrot goodness. My green peppers were tasty and plentiful. My Jalapenos were HOT but oh so fresh and tasty. It was a great year for my tomatoes until the flood of late August left them to sit in water that made most of the fruit just burst on the vine. This was the fist year that that ever happened to me. It was a learning experience. My beautiful tomatoes, once so plump and red, were just hanging from the plant like deflated balloons. Neat. The spinach and lettuce were GREAT! The broccoli was FANTASTIC. It grew all summer long but kept going to seed by the end of summer. I had to pull the spring plants and put in the fall to keep the harvest growing. This was the very first year that I have done cauliflower. I manged to successfully grow three heads of this finicky plant. It was truly the best cauliflower that I have ever eaten. I think that I have refined my technique enough to have more luck next year. My onions just grew and grew. Plenty to freeze and enjoy. And my cucumbers were incredible! I enjoyed mint all season long, and my fresh cilantro was the perfect finishing touch for my all organic salsa.
It was a challenging year. The odds were kinda stacked against gardeners in my area. Some of us won, and some of us lost. I won. It was not my best victory, but I loved every minute of it. (Well, not every minute. Have I mentioned how much I hate powdery mildew??) Now I have to pull the last of my harvest before the first frost and clean the garden so that it can sit and rest all winter long.
Any other gardeners out there? How was your season(s)?