Greenhouse-grown ratatouille fixings
I am not sure about all of you, but August’s garden kicked my butt.
This entire year in SW Michigan has been as strange, weather-wise, as it has been elsewhere in the US. So sure, let’s pick an easy scapegoat: the weather! Nothing I can do about the weather but complain, right? But no. Sure it was hot, sure it rained a lot, sure there were weather-related events stringing together long before August that worked against this gardener’s interests. But other things conspired to keep me busy in places other than the garden this month.
And I suppose that’s it: we’re always going to have obligations other than weeding the garden, right? Than just getting out there and doing the daily tasks necessary to keep things running smoothly?
As Year Five of a summer garden, Year Two of a year-round one, I am getting a handle on any season’s ebbs and flows. And what I realize now is this: August is a busy time. Busy for weeds, busy for bugs, busy for the human inhabitants of this farm. If I am ever to come to a place of happiness with the August garden, I need to realize the limits of my time and try to use the warmth and enthusiasm of August’s weather to my advantage. So: what does this mean?
It means that next year, nearly the only things I will have growing in the outdoor garden in August will be dry beans, corn, and winter squash! They require NONE of my precious time. I’ll have the fall-started crops, but I’m planning on cutting way back on summer squash, beets, and canning (green) beans.
So! Tomatoes, cucumbers, take heed: you will all be either July or September crops, no exceptions!
(do you think the tomatoes will listen to me?)