So Long Summer – Almost!
By S.M.R. Saia
As I cruise into September,I am feeling an unfamiliar sense of satisfaction with my garden this year. We actually made it through the summer without being overwhelmed by weeds. These days it’s actually a pleasure to wander through and to pluck grass out by the roots after a heavy rain. Grass, and my yard’s indigenous weeds, still continue to sprout up, but it isn’t so much that I can’t deal with it, and I am absolutely thrilled. For one thing, it’s allowed me to turn my thoughts to other things, like mulching with the huge amount of dead pear tree leaves in our yard. I’ve also decided to stop even pretending that I’m making compost. I admit to being a compost idiot. I’m not even going to try. The past month or so I’ve just been burying our kitchen scraps out in the garden, in areas that are currently unused and which will not be used until next spring/summer. I also ran across a book on Amazon that I would buy if I could afford to pay out of print prices for it, but I can’t. These days, if it isn’t 99 cents on the Kindle, I’m not buying. I would include the link for it, but now I can’t find it. Argh. However, one of the things the woman was known for was just spreading her kitchen scraps in the garden and letting them compost in place. That’s me. Her gardening theory gives credibility to my laziness and ineptitude!
So, I’m mulching with leaves and composting in place. I am also absolutely rocking the eggplants this year!
It’s the first year that I have ever had an abundance of eggplants. I read somewhere (sorry, I’m bad about sources tonight) that the nightshade vegetables appreciate an occasional drink of water that’s had a big spoonful of yogurt stirred into it, for the beneficial bacteria, so I did that once a few weeks ago and who knows, maybe it’s helped. All I know is that I have three nice Listada DiGandia eggplants on my counter right now, and I’m having one of the black beauties cubed and roasted with fingerling potatoes, cherry tomatoes, garlic, and peppers over rice for dinner tonight. I’ve been slicing them, brushing them with olive oil and grinding sea salt on them and broiling them. I’ve then sliced the roasted eggplant into salads, which has been awesome. I’ve used the leftovers the next day to make sandwiches with tomato, basil and mozzarella which is double awesome. I’ve cut them in half and baked them, scooped out the soft, baked eggplant, and spread it on French bread. I’ve also mixed this soft eggplant into tomato sauce. I’m really loving it.
I finally picked up more transplants from my favorite nursery: curly kale, butter crunch lettuce, more broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. I decided to put all of these (except the kale) in my some of my raised beds. I also have some radishes, beets, fall salad mix and rutabaga coming up in them.
Cabbages (above) are doing surprisingly well. So is most of my broccoli. My kohlrabi, however, has quickly succumbed to this handsome devil:
My nemesis, the harlequin beetle. Did you now that his babies look exaclty like him, only infinitely small? This is interesting, since so many insects have larval stages when they’re young. I am on strict SOS terms with this guy, SOS being “smush on sight”. Just look what he can do to a plant in a very short period of time:
Our weather is dipping down into the 60s most nights, and my plants are no longer wilting in the heat. I have one flower from my beneficial bug mix which is still putting on a beautiful display, and the butterflies love it.
The kid goes back to school in a few days. Fall is definitely approaching. But in the meantime, there’s still a bit of summer left for us, and my daughter is spending it in one of her favorite ways – in the garden, in the mud.
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