Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Fading Summer Garden

Our summer garden is beginning to fade and I couldn't help but remember a phrase, "To everything there is a season," I was surprised when I looked it up and found it's a bible verse from the book of Ecclesiastes...(Verse 3)..."and a time to every purpose under heaven." For me it's a perfect thought for gardens, yards and all plants, as well as, life itself.  This verse continues..."a time to be born; a time  to die; a time to plant; and a time to pluck that which is planted."

This verse hits the mark because throughout the year (spring, summer, fall) each season means new growth and different crops. Some like cool weather and some like hot weather. Every season the last few years we've had different weather circumstances too, challenging our gardening experience, dry, wet, different pests and different diseases.

This spring and summer we've not been infested with insects but more rot and wilt, due to the amount of rain. Our tomatoes have not had a good year.

Due to the large amount of rain, okra and other hot weather crops were planted later (even re-planted). However, lately the okra is producing great, as you can see above. I froze two large bags (cut up) over the week end.

The ants (never thought I'd say something good about them) are keeping a lot of pests and mildew off the stalks. Or, maybe the produce is just due to the sunshine we've had lately.

The "Rattlesnake Green Beans" are still blooming. The only pests giving us trouble this summer were Kudzu Bugs. I understand farmers and homeowners have had problems with them this year, too. They like legumes, such as soybeans (hurting farms crops) and will stain a house, inside and out if they invade a house (don't kill them using physical means). We didn't use chemical pesticides, as our garden is totally organic. A couple of sprays with Neem Oil did the trick on our beans.

As you can see, it won't be too many weeks before the canes come down and a fall crop replaces the beans, as mainly they're just growing on top and now, picking means using the ladder.

Our sweet potatoes are still blooming, which means there's still growth going on under ground. Just in time for sweet potato pie around Thanksgiving.

The sweet potato vines co mingled with the cucumber vines. The potato vines won out but the cucumbers were done for this season.

Amazingly, some winter squash planted in late May are still blooming and producing, especially these acorn squash.

Just like the okra, this year all our peppers were late due to lots of rain and not enough sun, but both our hot and sweet are making up for lost time.

Our honey bees have been working hard to pollinate our garden (as seen on a watermelon bloom above) and neighbors tell me our bees are working in their yards and gardens, too. Honey bees even like swimming in the neighbors pool.


Even though the summer garden season is fading, just like the bible verse, the fall garden is right around the corner and our fall season will grow and later in winter will be harvested, even plowed under and lie fallow, ready for an early spring garden.

So, never worry about a fading season because "to every thing there is a season." The next one can be better than the last. So...

Until Next Time.......

Happy Gardening 2013!

Posted by Wilma Smith

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