Summer Garden’s Slowing Down, Autumn Garden’s Gearing Up

September 10th, 2009 - filed under: The Farm » Flora


I can’t believe we’re just two weeks shy of autumn! That’s wild, where did the summer go? I swear it was just last week I was complaining about the heat. But it rained here all weekend, and yesterday I actually wore *jeans*, and this morning my breakfast was *oatmeal*. Oh yeah, fall is on the way.

So I’ve been spending some quality time in the yard this week, and thought I’d share the latest progress and produce. First exciting things first, my sunflowers finally bloomed! These are my first successful sunflowers, started from tiny seeds, and now the tallest one towers a good foot above my head – that’s over 7 feet high!



The plums are coming fast these days, faster than I can pick and prune them. There’s evidence of my failure all around.



But that’s okay, they make great snacks for hungry foragers, all soft and split and filled with yummy bugs. Mmmm! The chickens love the yard these days, though I don’t love constantly chasing them out of my garden plots. Such stubborn little birdies! Here’s a few shots of a recent sunny dust bath under the plum tree:



Those incorrigible hens just couldn’t get enough of my root-veggie bed, for some strange reason. Every time I turned my back they’d be in there, scratching away. As a result they killed or stunted every single walla walla I planted . . . all except for one. My one small survivor onion, which we finally unearthed and enjoyed in tonight’s green curry.


The other raised bed is doing great, with cucumbers slowly coming along, and tomatoes off the charts. My cucumbers could be happier, but at least they’ve stopped turning bright yellow on me (nutrient deficiency). Tonight I made my first ever jar of pickles, and if it turns out you can definitely expect a recipe.


The tomatoes are also going off, dropping fruit almost faster than we can eat it. Almost! Pictured on the vine are the cherries and green zebras (they’re ripe in that picture), but we’ve also got goldens and standard red slicers (pictured as harvest). The slicers make the *best* Tofurkey sandwiches!





And finally, my brand new fall garden is starting to unfold. I’ve been weeding and fertilizing and thinning out seedlings (oh woe!), and it looks like I’ll have some pretty nice options come autumn. You can see the broad-leafed brassica sprouts (cauliflower I think), the bright green lettuce line, and the tight row of forest-colored kale babies.




And that, my dear, is that. So tell me – how is your summer crop shaping up? Was it a good year for you in the garden?

  • Adam

    I was wondering how you were keeping your hens out of your garden. That was always a big problem for me.

  • Valerie

    Fence in your garden, that’s the way to keep out the chickens. It doesn’t have to be very high or very strong. High enough so they can’t hop over, low enough that you can step over. Just some simple wooden poles or stakes and some chicken wire. Then, when your done gardening for winter you take it down and the let the chickens in. They’ll eat all the dead plants and weeds and fertilize the ground at the same time. Isn’t mother nature’s cycle awesome!

  • daoine o’

    alas, we haven’t been able to start a garden…living at 9118′, our growing season is verrrry short! so, we’re still looking at options for what grows best. or, if we win the lottery, we’re looking at putting in a very small solar-greenhouse! :-D

    your garden is beautiful and i’m envious!

  • Sayward

    @ Adam – Yeah, it’s been a huge problem for me, too. Them hens are rascally!

    @ Valerie – Next year I’ve planned a whole re-landscaping of the backyard, including a proper fence to keep out hens AND dogs (who like to tear through my beds if there’s a kitty on the back fence). We’re just finishing up a lot of interior remodeling, so next year is the year of outside attention! =D

    @ daoine o’ – Thanks! Have you considered a little indoor garden? I’ll be posting an article soon on indoor winter gardening, maybe you can get a little something going. =)

  • EroSan

    mmm… I’ve been wanting to start my own garden, but I fear my cats will tear it apart…

    But I want a garden so much after seeing yours… I plan to start small… just a little bed of Champion Radishes (I love radishes and Champion sounded cool). But I will need all the help I can get, so keep posting tips, please!

    btw, do you know of any resource for gardening in warm climates? cant find any, and here in merida we have an average temp of 28 C (around 83 F), but on summer it can get as hot as 42 C (107ish)…

  • Amber

    Those tomatoes look divine!

  • karmalily

    My favorite thing about this blog is the photography. You’ve got a great eye. And those tomatoes look delish :)

  • Sayward

    @ EroSan – Well it gets that hot here in summer as well, although usually not for long periods. I suggest you figure out what climate zone you are in (here might work: and then determine what grows best in your climate. A local nursery or landscaping company might also be able to help with this. You can definitely start small! A little patch of radishes would do well in a large pot, which you could kitty-proof pretty easily (think a chicken wire cage).

    Good luck!

    @ Amber – Thanks lady! I remember you feeding me homegrown tomatoes on bagels the first time I went to your house back in the day! Ah, memories!

    @ karmalily – Thanks! But I must admit most of the really good pictures are by my husband. =)