On summer’s end

Green tree frogs (Hyla versicolor and H. chrysocelis) live in the liner of our pool

It felt great putting on a light sweater to go milk the goats this morning.  Am I a bad person for wishing for summer’s end?  Or maybe just a bad gardener?  This summer, however, was for the record books.  And I don’t like to live my life by making records.  (Let the whining begin!)

The small person is big on little frogs

Normal years have us hitting ninety maybe three days a year.  This year topped 13.  Yes:  I shouldn’t complain, as Michigan doesn’t get hurricanes or Texas-sized droughts…we’re not even prime for earthquakes, and we live too close to Lake Michigan for tornadoes to hit us.  Somehow that doesn’t matter when there’s enough personal drama that even record rains and heat don’t register.  But sayonara, Summer.  I’ve had it with your drama, weather and otherwise.


(The pool is the concession I made to my husband years ago when I told him we can’t use the a/c any longer.  It is pleasant, and it helps maintain marital peace.)

It’s usually the second week of August where most newbie gardeners give up the ghost and leave their gardens to the weeds.  I may be no newbie, but it’s been a tough year in the epic weed/bug battle and it’s left me a bit frustrated.  I have the CSA folks to grow for now too and can I say that my fifth planting of summer squash might bear fruit this year?  Yes.  The rest of you might be swimming in zucchini…and I am officially jealous.

The budding herpetologist.

So I am thankful for my determinate tomatoes, the Bellstar Paste:  you gotta love a plant that doesn’t sprawl, is the first to set fruit and is also over and done by the third week of August.  Oh, how happy I am when I pull those plants!  Others come out too and I find myself in a flurry again, adding compost, reseeding, pulling out nonperfomers:  if summer was a wash for some things, then it stands to reason that autumn will be wonderful.  Gardeners are nothing if they’re not hopeful.

And I’ve got hope, lots of hope.

12 responses to “On summer’s end

  1. But there ain’t nothin like a Brandywine. I’ve eaten good tomatoes for a month and had my first B’wine the other night. Oh, the glory! Dense, heavy, thick, meaty, juicy, and full of flavor. My next fave is the German Striped. Oh man. And Celebrity isn’t bad, either, for a determinate.
    I do hope you have a copy of my Tomato Imperative! If not, I need to send you one.
    As for tree frogs — they love pool liners. They screamed from the one next door until Leo and the next door kids collected them one night and took them for a ride.

  2. A fifth planting of summer squash…yikes, and I thought a third planting of green beans was bad. Fingers crossed for your zucchini.

    • I’ll have you know Mike that the one and only 8″ zucchini I got was a Mike’s Zucchini. Thanks!!! (I hope this new batch of yours goes too…the yellow crooknecks are looking promising thusfar.)

  3. Yeah…we didn’t get any squash either. Our didn’t even bother to poke out of the ground to get themselves devoured by the waiting pests… Good luck with the 5th!

  4. tough season for squash here in WI too…my zukes were ambushed by marmorated stink bugs. I did my best to pick the bugs off, but oh – the nightmares! My second planting may be ok, and the first one is catching a second wind so there might be zukes in the near future for us. I keep telling the plants I will never take them for granted again!

  5. I would say no problems with squash here in WI, but I did lose one plant to mosaic virus. Admittedly I was glad by the time it happened! Yes, some things coming to an end are welcome around here too.

    You had a big expansion this year, plus a ton of other stuff on your plate, so I’ll share the rationale we are using–this year was for growing bigger, next year can be for refining and keeping up with things. This year–big picture, next year: work on the details. Or at least that’s what we tell ourselves, ha!

  6. I don’t lament Labor Day looming either, El. Best time of year coming up, September and October, in my opinion–and November when it’s really all over, that can be nice, too. The late flush of August growth has allowed me to salvage some pride (and some pickles) from what has been a pretty dismal year in my garden. But now the cucumber vines are towering, as are the pole beans, and a volunteer pumpkin vine has filled in any other gaps (and obscured the weeds!). I’ve been chastised, but then let off easy. There’s always next year….


  7. I KNOW! I planted less zucchini than usual, because I always have too much, and now I find myself begging from my gardner friends just to make this great Italian lemon zucchini cake (with more of a syrup than a glaze, re: less sugar). http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/08/zucchini-cake-with-crunchy-lemon/
    But thanks for throwing out the name of a determinate past tomato, that was one of my things to research in the next few months!

  8. By September, I don’t worry so much about weeds…it’s time to harvest! It does, however, seem that everything matures just when we need to be gathering firewood and hunting season starts. Summer was pretty great in July when there were only cherries to worry about.

  9. I’ll be ready as soon as I get some freakin’ tomatoes! Worst year ever here.

  10. I wish this awful summer would end. It’s been filled with ugliness and never ending heat.

  11. I love the yellow background.Growing up we had a big yellow bowl on the outside,white on the inside that was used for a lot of things but I recall it as the best popcorn bowl.

Leave a Reply to Pam M. Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s