It's Fall19/07/2012 14:07
They say the older a person gets the faster time seems to pass and I suppose there's truth to that.Certainly this year seemed to fly by.Of course,as a gardener,when I say 'year',I mean the main gardening season which for us Northeners is only a few months to begin with.
It just seems like yesterday I was talking about the arrival of Spring and now there's a chill in the air and the leaves have begun to show their true colours.Yellows,oranges and reds are spreading through the canopies and it won't be long before the leaves are fluttering to the ground in a steady,gentle rhythm.
I'm not complaining mind you.I love Fall.
I would be hard pressed to say whether Spring or Fall is my favourite season as they both have much to offer.After suffering through a long Canadian Winter,there's nothing like the first scent of Spring in the air and of course one can start gardening again after a long tortuous hiatus.On the other hand,feeling the cool,refreshing Autumn breezes pushing away the sticky muggines of Summer is something I treasure as well.I'm not a Summer person.My tomatoes and peppers love and need the heat but I'm not a tomato,nor am I a pepper.
Speaking of vegetables;true,my main gardening season is over but there's still gardening to be had in the Autumn.It's a great time to garden.The weather is often cool and pleasant for working in and there are no mosquitos driving me crazy.
Fall is a good time for planting/transplanting perennials,shrubs and trees due to the fact that plants put more of their energy into root growth rather than top growth.As a result,they are well established come Spring.
In addition to the colourful leaves there are many Fall perennials to brighten the landscape.Chrysanthemums are of course well known Fall bloomers but two of my favourites are asters and the aptly named 'Autumn Joy' sedum.I love sedum.It's virtually indestructible.Drought resistant and rarely bothered by insects or disease.Can't beat it.There are also Summer blooming perennials that have long blooming seasons that extend right into the Fall.Sunflowers and black eyed susan are two good examples.
Fall is also the time to plant everyones favourite;Spring flowering bulbs.Tulips,daffodils,musccari,hyacinth,crocus,snowdrops and many more.
And yes,even vegetables can still be grown.Many of the cool weather loving Spring crops can be done again.I have some radishes that I sowed a couple of weeks ago doing nicely and a late summer planting of various greens including more Fordhook Giant chard is coming on strong now.A second crop of carrots are looking really good with their bright green bushy tops and their roots can remain snug in the ground well into Winter.A Summer planting of turnips and rhutabagas will continue to develop into Autumn if I don't eat all their tops first.
Yes,the main growing season has come to an end in my zone but there's still some gardening to do and with the help of cold frames I can extend the season even further.
About.com's Guide to Gardening,Marie Iannotti,has more tips and suggestions for Fall gardening in the various hardiness zones.
It's Fall and I'm loving it.Crisp apples and Pumpkins.Beautiful leaves and cool breezes.It's Fall.
I'm shutting the computer down now and I'm going outside to harvest my first winter squash of the season.Oh boy.Comfort food.And there's nothing like comfort food in the Fall.
Happy Autumn everyone.