On this day of the Autumnal Equinox, which occurs at 5:18 EDT, what is the state of your vegetable garden? Choose one:
(a) I’m still picking a lot of vegetables from it and it will take a hard frost to knock it down.
(b) I’ve given up on it, pulled all the plants out and threw them on the compost pile. It’s just bare ground now.
(c) It’s doing pretty good. I’ve managed to pull out the non-producing plants, but I’m still picking peppers, a few tomatoes, a little bit of squash and a good crop of late sown green beans. Soon I also hope to pick some late lettuce and radishes.
(d) Vegetable garden? Is that what’s hidden under that tangle of morning glories, foxtails, and ragweed out back?
My garden is (c) and here’s the little bit that I picked yesterday in the last light of the last day of summer.
Missing from the harvest are the peppers. I chose to leave them for now, as I have no time to deal with them this week. But there are dozens of all kinds of peppers ready to be picked and I’ll pick them early next week.
The green beans are from a few rows of green beans sown on August 2nd. This is the first time in all my decades of growing vegetables that I’ve sown beans that late. But I had the seed and that space was open in the garden, so all it took was a few minutes to sow the seed and then 51 days of waiting. It was well worth it, as there will be more beans to pick probably right up until the first frost sometime in October.
Whenever I see my rows of green beans, whether earlier in summer or now in early fall, I still think about the rabbits that tormented me for so many years and wonder what happened to them. *Poof.* This year they are just gone. But when the rabbits were here, I could not sow a row of beans and leave it unprotected without them finding it and eating the newly emerged bean plants down to nubs.
I suppose I shouldn’t look for rabbits that clearly aren’t here, but I still wonder. Was it something I did? Something I said? Didn’t do? Or did they just disappear? If it turns out it was something I did, I’d love to know what it was so I can be sure and repeat it each year.
You don’t suppose it was those plastic spoons from last year, do you?
(On the question above, if you picked (a) and you live in zone 5, what is your secret? If you chose (b), please plant again next year, it’s bound to be better. If you chose (d), get out there right now and clean up that mess. You are giving us vegetable gardeners a bad reputation. Plus, there could be some vegetables under those weeds, ready to be picked.)