Fecund August

Of course, there are flowers in the August garden.  But the fruits of hard labor are what stand out to me this time of year.  And like a woman in the last trimester of her pregnancy, the garden looks both magnificent and worn.

Wild elderberries and chokecherries and black cherries have gone from green to red to black all on their own with no help from me.  The seed heads of coneflowers and rudbeckia are fat.  Swarms of gold finches keep the prairie and perennial beds in constant motion.

The  tomatoes plants are stressed by incipient fungal infections  (though no white flies yet, thanks to thick plantings of marigolds and the cool temperatures).  Their vigorous branches have escaped my control, and sag under the weight of half-green fruits.  The chili peppers are producing fast and furious except for the two plants I scorched when I accidentally sprayed them with the last dregs of a sprayerful of liquid copper fungicide.  Moron that I am.  The cucumber vines are the most productive I have seen in many years; but the older leaves have managed to contract powdery mildew.  Sick and tired of making pickles, I long for them to just. drop. dead.  But they don’t.  They grow new leaves, flower again, and make so much fruit, my neighbors confess to helping themselves without my permission and I am GLAD.

Like the garden, I am wearing out, too.  Nevertheless,  I discipline myself to execute the gardening plan I set out last January: to plant cole crops in volume in the fall garden rather than in the cabbage-white prone spring garden.  I start seeds outdoors,  and can’t help but be amazed by how rapidly seeds sprout in the 75 – 85 degree heat.  I roll the dice, consider waiting another week to pull the green beans, eager to make space for the daikon radishes.  Will it still be too hot?  Or will the weather hold in the upper 70s and low 80s?  I pace the garden rows, tense with indecision.

Somewhere between wrangling children — no longer occupied with summer camp — canning, freezing and jellying in the kitchen, and spraying for squash beetles in the garden, I managed to redesign and cobble together (with the help of my better 1/2)  our chicken run/tractor.  Four new hens have taken up residence and are settling in well, despite their preference to roost in the trees rather than in the hen house.  I need them to sort this matter out sooner rather than later.

Sho’ Nuff, we are tired, tattered but fecund around here.  How does your garden fare as the harvest swells to bursting?

Check out other gardens and gardeners at Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.  Meanwhile, I’m going to have lunch that includes my garden’s bounty!

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13 thoughts on “Fecund August

  1. I refuse to think about winter vegetables. Noooo!!! I have a week of summer left before it’s back to school and have only harvested 2 tomatoes, not including all the green ones that came off wind blown vines and refuse to ripen on the windowsill. It would be interesting to make a sign that said Free Cucumbers and then plop a box of cukes in front of your house. Wonder how long it would take for them to disappear?

  2. Kami Landy says:

    Chickens are kinda pretty, in their column.

  3. Lrong says:

    Believe it or not, I learned a new word today… fecund, that is… and along this line, may I proceed to say that my garden has been rather ‘un-fecund’ this season… the temperatures have been shooting up the skies lately, killing many of our plants… to take matters to another level, we are facing an imminent drought as the water level at the reservoir keeps coming down… this situation makes me quite reluctant to use the precious water for the garden… anyway, so happy to hear that your garden is doing so well… lovely looking pumpkin, and what beauties you have in those four new chickens…

    • Sho'Nuff says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your water problems. When last I was in Japan, so much water was going to the cities, farmers were having trouble getting enough for their crops (this was in Fukuoka). There were city-wide bans on toilet flushing. It was a very difficult situation; and I can imagine what a difficult situation this puts gardeners in. Gambatte!

  4. Amazing as I feel the same and have barely been in my garden….tomatoes still not ripe, cukes still producing, beans gone thanks to voles, a few zukes, Brussel sprouts just starting, eggplants and peppers still going and okra finally producing….busy watching the harvest as we will be busy soon…the flowers go on without me and the weeds as well….oh and I just planted beets, carrots, lettuce, peas and am waiting for a hopeful fall harvest…it’s dicey in fall here due to weather. I might get a harvest, I might not.

    • Sho'Nuff says:

      You are ahead of me with planting fall crops. I’m confident of a long cool late fall. It’s the late summer I don’t trust. We could have an “Indian Summer” with scorching temperatures with no warning at all… Indecisive, indecisive…

      Keep us posted on your garden progress.

  5. Nell Jean says:

    What a wonderful harvest! Cole crops are in my fall plans, too.

  6. Had no idea chickens would “row” up like ducks!

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