August 2010
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Sliding into fallSliding into fall

Transplants in peat pots ready for fall.

August —the best of the summer months,when the weather more often than not cooperates for outdoor fun,the biting bugs diminish and the great season of bountiful harvests begins. But I can already feel the hours of daylight diminishing rapidly. Crickets now dominate the evening chorus and the Canada geese have begun their training flights. Even while harvesting the classic summer produce —tomatoes,peppers,beans,basil,cucumbers,zucchini,eggplant,potatoes,onions,garlic and more —one must,alas,turn attention to fall and the plants that can survive and thrive in cold.

Last week after removing the spent pea vines and freeing up the beds that had been used for garlic and onions,I amended the soil with compost,lightly cultivated the surface and planted seedlings started a few weeks ago in peat pots,including lettuce,bok choy,fennel bulbs and curly endive. Some arugua that went to seed was pulled up and laid over a bare patch of soil to see if it would seed itself. The previous week,in another bed,I direct-seeded some beets and rutabega that are already up.

All such diversions from the main business of taking it easy in August,can only be accomplished with hopeful anticipation that a variety of colors,textures and flavors will grace our table well into the fall.

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