Posted by: ssorrrell | September 16, 2007

Fall

Every day brings us one more closer to the first frost.  The one that will likely kill most of the vegetables and fruits.  It’s sad to see.  Some of the plants like the cucumbers won’t make it much longer anyway.  They are soaking up all their remaining energy and nutrients to make fruit and a mad pace.  Even as the leaves wither and fade they are replace more blooms.  The cantaloupes are making the switch from growth to fruit production and are just at the point when the plant dims a little.  When leaf damage is repaired, destroyed leaves aren’t replaced, and growth is slowed to a crawl.

The tomatoes have made a nearly complete turnaround.  Conquering the wilt that threatened to turn the bed into a wasteland and growing far more than before.  Some branches having sprawled out 4′ or more from the roots.  But without the 75+ F temperatures needed to set fruit all of it is in vain.  Other plants like the cosmos and basil are being allowed to finally set seed.  Stalks of dead sunflowers remain scattered here and there in beds for support to vines.  Rather like the monuments of Rome’s greatness scattered about Europe.

The watermelons that were started too late hurry to grow melons in decreasing light and lower temperatures.  Still growing out 15′ from their centers.  Morning glories having long taken over a trellis to form a wall now joy in catching the last rays the sun casts on the backyard.  While hidden in their legs are Hops planning to outrun them next year.  For the first time in their tough transplanted lives suffering no disease or pest problems from too small containers.  Dead stalks of 2′ tall corn stand in little spots around the yard.  Lack of sun, water, or nutrients having kept them from reaching their 7′ tall magnificence.

And weeds like Lamb’s Quarter are finally setting seed after growing and getting pulled a thousand times.  There are no Dandelions, Larkspur, or other hot season volunteers.  No more June bugs, moths, caterpillars, tomato bugs, mosquitoes, or flea beetles.  But the spiders still build huge 2′ X 3′ nets to catch something.  What the caterpillars ate the snails now eat.  And the pill bugs are everywhere eating the remnants of the summer’s energy.

Some seed is thrown that can take advantages of winter’s low competition and glacial growth to improve next years spring.  Final trimming to bushes and trees are made and put into the full compost bin.  Trees prepare their seeds to drop and plan that one weekend when they will all change colors and then drop everything.  Fall.

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