The Garden is Dying

After last week’s summer winter storm, the garden took a bit of a hit. The damage wasn’t totally apparent until this last weekend when the snow had melted away and the sun had come out. There was a leftover patch of snow in front of my greenhouse this morning, reminding me that it’ll be back soon “Don’t get too comfortable!”.

The nights are supposed to be warmer which means I brought the poor potted tomatoes out from the greenhouse again – they’d been shoved on the floor where they were getting no direct sunlight, but at least they weren’t frozen. Maybe they’ll have a chance of ripening outdoors unlike all the other tomatoes that were harvested green a little over a week ago (some are very slowly ripening in the house).

But as for the rest of the garden, it is a mixed bag. We cleaned out three beds completely on the weekend – the raised bed that had corn, squash, beans and a couple of tomato plants, the galvanized steel livestock tank that had the indeterminate tomatoes, and the little in-ground bed that I had planted lettuces and marigolds. A few pots were cleaned out that contained the dead corpses of squash and some annual flowers like dahlia, morning glory, coreopsis, and nasturtium. I could have just left the dead plants in place, but frankly it was depressing.


The good news is that there were a lot of troopers that did survive and will continue on until real winter hits, such as kale, beets, carrots, some herbs and the broccoli and cauliflower I was supposed to pull out but got too lazy. That’s right – the caterpillar damaged crop is still in place and actually doing pretty well. I haven’t seen another caterpillar since I destroyed the population back in August. And wouldn’t you know it, there are actually heads growing! I guess laziness pays off sometimes.


The rest of the damage was a result of the weight of the snow. Quite a few of my perennials are nearly flat on the ground and won’t bounce back this year. My columnar aspen trees were not looking so columnar, so we used Velcro ties to try to get the branches back in place.


Sadly the season is coming to an end and much earlier than I would like. The rest of September will be spent slowly harvesting the remaining crops, tending the greenhouse, and cleaning up the yard as plants expire. Since we are living out of a mini-fridge for now, I will probably spend a day in the near future canning beets.

I’ve already noticed that I’m spending a lot more time indoors and my trips to the garden are a lot more brief – the weeds have slowed down and I haven’t had to do much watering besides a can here and there to the greenhouse. As for outdoor projects, those are pretty much done for the year – I do still have the bottom side of my wheelbarrow to paint, but that is pretty much it. And the indoor projects are beginning again – knitting (time to start holiday gifts), updating my Etsy shop, doing a few minor updates around the house, cleaning the basement (thank you community association for hosting the annual free garbage day!), and pumping myself up to finish the powder room we renovated back in May. Let’s hope I have a few more weeks to enjoy the garden before I really settle myself in for the winter.

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