Change of Seasons
This article was published on: October 6th, 2018
I enjoy weather changes, I can’t see myself living in a place without seasons, Wisconsin suits me just fine. My favorite season change is summer to fall, I know I’m not the only person that loves the cool weather, beautiful colors and the end of fly and mosquito season. And, crazy as it sounds I embrace the clean up after summer. By September my vegetable garden is out of control; I have slacked off on weed pulling, my plants are overgrown, dying back and blooming is past on everything but a few late season flowers. This year I enjoyed vacation the last week of September and just like almost all farmers, we didn’t take a vacation, we stayed right here. Fortunately the rain held off for most days and I was able to begin my fall cleanup.
Here are my two gardens this summer, you can see I have lots to clean up!
The tomato and cucumber garden.
The tomato and cucumber bed cleared out.
The main vegetable garden
When people visit our farm in the summer they almost always say, “Oh, your flowers!”. And, I reply, “Flowers are my thing”. I give credit for my love of flora to my Grandmas, Minnie Ackerman and Lena Lender. Minnie had a huge vegetable garden, raspberry patch and sweet peas that grew on the side of her garage. BTW, I don’t think I’ve ever tasted raspberry pie or raspberry jelly like Grandma A’s, nope never. Lena had flowers, flowering bulbs and flowering shrubs in her town yard. Oh, her Lilac’s were so fragrant and beautiful, I had them at my wedding 43 years ago. I have a soft spot for yellow tulips, they were at Grandma L’s back door; always the first burst of color after a long Northern Illinois winter. What sweet memories I have of my Grandmas, I’ll need to write a blog post on them, but back to clean up!
Our granddaughter Freya with a bucket of blooms ready to arrange.
My husband, the all-knowing and wise farmer tells me, “You have too many flowerbeds and garden spots to keep up”. Like usual, he’s right but, don’t tell him I admitted this. Clean up is the price I pay for walking out to the garden and harvesting veggies for dinner or cutting a huge bouquet of blooms for my table. In late September I start cleanup with my vegetable gardens; growing fences and tomato cages need to be taken down, plant debris carted off and compost spread for the winter. Thank goodness I have the bucket of the tractor, it makes clean up so easy and I feel so accomplished when it’s finished.
After clean out of the vegetable garden; our tractor Gabe and the very helpful bucket.
Flowerbeds are harder for me to clear out, I just can’t say goodbye to the possibility of a late bloom on one of my flowers. I do clean out my perennial beds early, they won’t be blooming again this year, but I am holding out on my annual beds. With the shortened sunlight and cloudy days (and rain) my late summer gardens aren’t as beautiful as they normally are. One of my favorite annual plants is the Victoria Salvia and it is still sending up purple spires, my marigolds are bright and pretty although the blooms are not as huge as they were this summer. My red geraniums are looking poorly, the question – bring them in for the winter or let them go – a gardener’s fall dilemma.
My big flowerbed past its glory.
Once we have a freeze, I’ll have no choice – everything will be frozen back and cleanup will resume in my big flowerbed. Until then, I’m enjoying every last hint of color.
Thanks for reading my ramblings of life on our little farm.