If one was trapped in a windowless room with a connection to the gardening blogosphere as their only outlet to the world outside, they would know that fall (and spring) is just around the corner. Gardening bloggers around the northern hemisphere are dropping hints that the weather is about to change abruptly: cooler nights, harvesting things just in time, savoring the last of the summer bounty.
Here, in Southern California, I straddle two mind sets. The mother and social parts of me have to prepare for at least another month of very warm temperatures and the possibility of another heat wave. No matter what the calendars say, it is still really summer, even after September 21. The gardener part of me, though, is keenly aware that fall is upon us. I have sown kale, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower seeds in four-inch pots. If successful, they will be transplanted in October into a bed now occupied by tomatoes or hard squash or zucchini. The new varieties of garlic have been ordered. The square foot garden has been partially planted with the first succession of fall/winter crops: green onions, beets, carrots, turnips, radishes, swiss chard and spinach. (If you have been with me for a while you will recognize the “chard trees” in the corner of the bed).
But, as the very beginning signs of fall appear in the garden, there is still a lot of summer to go.
The winter squash is having a second wave. You can see in this picture that among the maturing squash with woody stems are bright green fruit just beginning to plump up. I am not sure there is quite enough summer left for these to ripen, but I am going to give it a shot.
All of the pepper plants are just getting started and are loaded with fruit. This Purple Beauty is one of the two pepper plants I managed to grow from seed. After a little lull, the zucchini, cucumber, and eggplant are also making a come back. I think I will be harvesting summer veggies well into October.
Fall is my favorite season; very subtle here, but fabulous. Come September, I am longing for the cooler temperatures, the wind, the closing up of shop. Much of the country/world is feeling the onset of it. The planting charts indicate it is just around the corner. You can even see a hint of it in my garden, but really, it is still squarely summer. I am just going to have to hang tight, enjoy the summer veggies a while longer (not complaining), and wait until (the end of) October.