My Dead Garden

Summer ended almost a month ago, and this was a hard growing season. Winter hung on well into April, the frost lasting longer than it should have. Then it rained the entire month of June, August, and September. July gave us no rain and hot temperatures. The war on bugs was lost. They came in droves, and I couldn’t keep up with them. This winter I will revise my strategy on that!

My last haul consisted of about ten sweet potatoes, over a dozen peppers and jalapenos, as well as sage and thyme to dry for later. I usually do a garden burn in the late winter, but this year I’m going to do it early and then compost with chopped up dry leaves and bone meal for the winter. In the spring I will spread compost which we collect through the year using grass clippings, leaves, and discarded (uncooked) veggies and fruit scraps as well as egg shells and coffee grinds. Then we will till it into the land.

Guess what I just planted? Garlic! It will grow over the winter and produce shoots that will die in early Spring. I will have garlic by the ton, or so I hope. I love garlic. Not only is it an amazingly healthy way to spice up your meals, but it also tastes great. When a recipe calls for three cloves, I always double it. This is my first time growing garlic, so I hope it goes well. I will have to carefully do the burn around the patch that has the garlic planted. I don’t want the soil around it to get too warm.

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In a few months, I will sit with my sisters and my mom, and we will talk about what worked and didn’t work in our gardens. Catalogs from our favorite seed sources will be around the table, and we will get our orders together, planning what to start early and what will go directly into the ground. I love this meeting with all my heart. It honors the tradition of gardening that my family has passed down through the generations, and it gives me quality time with people closest to my heart.

With fall upon us and my garlic in place, the other thing I like to do is go around and collect seeds from flowers and plants that might still be hanging on. I’ll plant them next year to invite the bees to come to visit.

My garden was not the best this year, but it still provided food for us and the kids love to eat right out of the garden. Here is to hoping next year is better for my garden. With my toddler a little older I hope to be able to attend to it more too.

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