Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Sight For Sore Eyes!

Seeing how it is nearing the end of summer and the evenings are dipping back down to the low forties, I must's beginning to feel a lot like fall here in the high desert! The air smells cool and moist again and when the sun begins to fall behind the distant mountains, it cools down quickly. It saddens me to say but I feel none-the-less to be true.

A few weeks ago I took a moment to gaze upon my garden and see what I had yet to far as harvesting goes. I'm still waiting on corn and more tomatoes, the green beans, kohlrabi, zucchini, and winter squash are still producing. But as I try to see the winter ahead, I'm not so sure I will have enough to store up for the long, cold, and sometimes dreary frigid months ahead.

I know there are many farmers and families who religiously plant seasonal gardens; spring, summer, and fall gardens...I suppose winter gardens, when properly cared for, are also feasible. For me, however, I think I can only manage a fall garden (I get too cold in the winter ;-) So I decided to plant one this year. About two weeks ago, I planted another crop of peas, carrots, beets, spinach, Swiss chard, broccoli, and cabbage.

We have been having daytime highs in the upper 80's to low 90's and the nights have been dipping, unfortunately, down into the low 40's. What I planted for my 'fall' crop is beginning to show tiny signs of life. Their perfect green little cotyledons have emerged from the soft soil and are trying to establish themselves. Now, I am praying the weather remains good enough to give these tiny vegetable starts a fighting chance. Fall and winter, for that matter, will be upon us before I know it; I've got to make the most of what I have now! I just hope I'm not too late!

My greatest joy two weeks ago, however, came when I began to dig up the soil in my back garden. For three years I have nurtured, composted, fertilized, and cared for the back soil to make it 'garden worthy'. So when I put that shovel in the dry earth and turned it under, I was so excited to see all of the worms alive and flourishing there! The soil is becoming healthier and will hopefully be able to support my fall garden. :)

Have you had a fall or winter garden of your own? What things have you learned from it? Any advice or pointers would be so greatly appreciated! If you haven't yet, and want to give it a try, perhaps try growing a few carrots, spinach, or lettuces. Those crops for me, as long as they are past the really tender stage, are usually very hardy in the colder temperatures!


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