Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Neglected Garden Produces

I was talking with my mother on the phone the other day. She was asking if it was raining here, and I had said that I hoped it would soon, because my garden needs water.

It struck me then, what I had said ... in late September. My garden needs water.

My comment didn't phase her. She's not in Maine. But if she had been, she might have wondered.

A local organic farm posted pictures on their blog of their plants following the killing frost a couple of nights ago. They are five miles from me - five ... miles.

And I'm reminded that I live in a micro-climate, where things aren't necessarily the same as they are for others ... even others who are very close to me. I'm reminded that because of my location in this little dip of land close to the ocean, I have about two weeks on either side of the frost line that usually kills other people's tender plants.

But here, my tomato plants are still green and leafy, the scarlet runner beans are still flowering, and the squash has the biggest, greenest leaves I've ever seen.

Two days ago, I harvested the volunteer potato plant. There was about a pound of potatoes ... from a plant that I didn't seed or tend. It just grew, and without any help from the "gardener" it produced ... a whole pound of wonderful potato.

My extended growing season and the proliferation of "volunteers" in my garden reminds me of the resilience of nature. It gives me hope for our future, but it also makes me thankful that in my naivete, I often just let nature take over in my garden.

I do it, because it usually pays off.

It has nothing to do with my being too lazy to weed ...

... at least that's what I keep telling myself :).


  1. I guess I am of 2 minds about weeds. Weeds that threaten to squash out the plants I want have to be controlled, but I am not too picky about the ones that simply share some space in the garden (so long as they mind themselves! LOL!). Dandelions are considered weeds, after all, and they make delicious salad! I think there's a nice balance that can be kept, which helps us be more at one with nature.

    So glad to hear about your potato yield from a volunteer plant! Enjoy!

  2. Make that three. With my new raised beds I didn't have many weeds though. The only ones I worry about are ones that put out painfully sharp spikes, because they could really hurt my toddler.

    Its odd. I obsess over the garden all winter, toil in the spring, work late summer to harvest and put up some, but by fall it seems I am burned out, but I don't FEEL burned out.