The September Garden and Cool Weather Garden Planting

If I told you that our garden was anything except a neglected, un-watered wild jungle this year, I'd be lying.  I didn't even get to tying up the tomatoes before they doubled over on themselves and started rooting in the ground, so the tomato harvest were slim thanks to the blocked sunlight. We got some for sure, but nothing close to what we should have gotten out of 13 plants in full sun.  I'm not beating myself up about it, though.  Tomorrow is another day and there's always next year and we live in the Land of Produce where we can get everything fresh any day of the week.  

It felt like this year we really just got a few select harvests that were enough for a meal or two, with some extra green beans to freeze.  An eggplant here, one cucumber there, one watermelon, no beets or carrots that ever grew, an early potato harvest that has served us well, but that we've already almost eaten completely, greens that we ate for quite a few meals, enough tiny tomatoes to serve us solidly, flowers that I FINALLY got to grow...only to have John walk by me in the backyard with all of them in his hand headed for the compost pile because he thought they were weeds popping up:( Lima beans are ready for me to pick and freeze and I have beans that are dying and drying on the plants that I'll save. So it wasn't a total wash and I'm thankful for what grew, just not much to write home about and not much of anything except green beans in enough quantity to preserve.

Even though it's early to start to cut down or rip plants out, I'm going to do it soon.  I'm not quit done with my garden hopes for the year and I'm hoping to squeak out a fall planting and harvest before I call it quits on the 2013 garden. Even just some garlic and some greens and herbs will make me happy, especially for the chickens.  We eat the greens, but the girls EAT the greens and love them so much that I'd really love to have a cold frame going to have a stock of fresh greens for them all winter.  Plus, some of them are things I always want to try, like broccoli and cabbage, but they feel like they'll take up so much room that it's hardly worth the effort in our small raised beds in the crazy growing months of summer when the same amount of space can produce so much more quantity. 

If you also have a garden that makes you want to throw in the towel, check out some of these links - there just might be some hope left for you with some fall plantings, add some nutrients with cover crops or at least extending your growing time a bit longer and get your soil healthy for next spring! 

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