You can’t have it both ways.

There are two schools of thought when determining the official change of the seasons.  Some folks believe it should be on the equinox which by my reckoning means we still have 21 more days of balmy summer days.

I've got more of these than I know what to do with!
I’ve got more of these than I know what to do with!

But the thing is…  I am so impatient in the spring that I can’t make myself wait for the equinox for the spring to start – I want to sow my seeds and the thought of waiting for the equinox for summer to start is too much to bear.  So for the seasons that herald the beginning of the growing season and the warm weather, I like to go with the monthly season system where the first day of September is the first day of spring and the first day of summer is the first day of December.  Seriously I couldn’t stand waiting an extra three weeks for these seasons to begin.  It doesn’t really matter too much when winter gets going as by then the weather is miserable and to be honest it doesn’t bother me too much what season it is because it is just yucky.

The garden is really looking a bit past its best.
The garden is really looking a bit past its best.

So here we are on the first day of March and as tempting as it is to extend the perception of the long hot sunny season, I really ought to be consistent.  As much as I hate to admit it… today is the first day of autumn.  We are beginning our long slow descent into the cold dark days. Sigh.

I don't think it matters too much about the powdery mildew...  I think these are nearly done.
I don’t think it matters too much about the powdery mildew… I think these are nearly done.

Although without a calendar or clock this whole thing is neither here nor there.  It’s either hot or it’s not, but the clues are in the garden that the season is on the turn.  Anything that can be struck by powdery mildew has been struck.  The tomato plants that were once lush green plants dominating the landscape are now more like a Christmas tree left up too long and all the leaves are browning and the tomatoes are bright shades of red demanding to be harvested every day.  The corn has gone… mostly.  A couple of stalks are still hanging in there for a few more days.  There are beds coming empty and it could all be doom and gloom.

Harvesting tomatoes may have become a tiresome chore, but it will be over before I know it!
Harvesting tomatoes may have become a tiresome chore, but it will be over before I know it!

I say “could be”, but autumn has a saving grace….  Cold weather crops.  I have been sowing seeds, planting seedlings and planning where to put things and alongside the never ending harvesting and processing, this changing of the season is much more hectic than any other.

And it all starts all over again
And it all starts all over again

So becoming autumn isn’t really that bad, but all we need now is the soft warm autumn rain.  According to the boffins at the weather office we have to wait until at least the 22nd of March.  Everyone is hoping that we will be declared in an official drought situation today but what the farmers are really hoping for is a long steady rain that will soak deep into the parched soil.

This is my kohlrabi.  Cool aye!  Wonder what it tastes like?!
This is my kohlrabi. Cool aye! Wonder what it tastes like?!

Come again soon – just because its autumn doesn’t mean it’s all over!

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

14 thoughts on “You can’t have it both ways.

  1. Ah 6 months ago I was putting away my garden and longingly looking at your seedlings! So ready to shake winter off and get going. I’ve really enjoyed getting my “green” fix reading your posts.

  2. That kohlrabi is looking pretty impressive. They are a great alternative to shredded cabbage in a coleslaw. We’ve also grated them over salads as a change from carrot. We did try cooking them once but, to be honest, the flavour in the ones we grew, was so mild, when cooked, that they didn’t taste of much of anything, so we stuck to grating raw for coleslaw and salad.Will be interested to see what you think when you’ve pulled one 🙂

  3. At 5.18am I had to read that first paragraph 5 times before all that technical monthy stuff got through to my poor addled brain ;). I love “yucky”…I love the cold and the trudging from the car to the back door and the mud in the hallway and the mud spattered walls where the dogs burst through the dog door after a mad romp in the mud…wait a minute! Sigh…how soon we forget! At the moment it would seem like the equinox is about a zillion miles away (or twice the kilometres if you are metric like us 😉 ) and the garden is fecund with produce and promise and you are loath to do anything involving pulling out old stalks etc. because that would be a hint to winter to throw you a couple of cold mornings and you would have to get off your derierre and think about what the heck you are going to plant for winter… I have NEVER planted a winter garden and have NO idea what I am going to plant. The summer garden was an absolute fluke. It was the first one on Serendipity Farm and cobbled together post haste with a terrific desire to grow SOMETHING rather than lament the lack of home grown food. We grew, and are still growing lots of “somethings” but now it’s time to take that terrifying leap into the unknown. Our summer choices (if, indeed, you could call them “choices”…more like “whats on the seedling shelf in the budget range at K-Mart Steve…just grab some stuff you think you might possibly eat…”) actually grew despite the odds. More a testiment to the good compost that we used to backfill our raised garden beds but now it’s time to do some real thinking…half of the stuff we bought wasn’t summer produce! Why oh WHY do places like K-Mart sell winter stuff like coriander in spring eh?! Of COURSE ours bolted straight to seed…there should be a law! ;). I am twitching thinking about what grows in winter and know that I should be getting my research clogs on but know that it is going to take me to the steep cliff of indecision…a place I tend to hover over precariously most of my life. “Make your mind up woman!”…broad beans! (there…an easy one…) and er… cabbages?…maybe some peas? Silverbeet and spinach as well (although I have been growing spinach all summer long with great good fortune) and beetroots…lots and LOTS of beetroots. We don’t get much frost here so perhaps I can fluke it with some other things? It might be fun to see :). A good friend send me some asparagus seed and I am going to attempt to restock my poor long suffering asparagus bed (in 3 years when the crowns get big enough 😉 ). So much thought…so little brain!

    1. Hi Fran. I’d get those winter seeds started soon rather than later as they need the lingering warmth of the dying season to get them going.
      As for the mud… seems impossible to imagine now, but soon enough we will be living in a sea of the stuff. All we need is rain.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

    1. Hi Mark.
      I missed harvesting the fennel bulb, but I can still get something from the seeds. I freeze the green seeds to make fennel tea to settle dodgy tummies and the dried seeds are great to use in cooking and pickling.
      I have also discovered it is best to plant tomatoes in a range of sizes. The smaller they are the earlier they come ripe, so you can satisfy that tomato craving while waiting for the big ones to ripen. But the big ones are definitely the stars of the garden.
      I’m sure they will taste all the better for the waiting.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

        1. Hi Mark. I normally just leave them on the plant, but if the weather looks like it will be perpetually damp before the seeds are ready then I’ll cut the whole seed head off and put it upside down in a paper bag and hang it up somewhere warm and dry.
          I hope this helps.
          Cheers Sarah : o )

  4. Such wonderful photos. Enjoy this harvest time. I am finally down to the last of the onions, which I should have dehydrated to save, thought they dried fairly well this year. Can’t wait to plant and enjoy the spinich, but I am still three months from that here in the Northern Hemisphere.

    1. Hi Lucinda. Sometimes the harvest and crop processing can get quite hectic and you forget to actually enjoy it. Thank you for the reminder. This busy season will be over before I know it, especially as the evenings are beginning to draw in and the temperature has noticeably dropped. Soon it will be your turn to enjoy the busyness.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

    1. Hi there, these days the drought is taking it’s toll and many plants don’t look so healthy. But it is autumn and so I’d be expecting my summer crops to be looking a little worse for wear. Sadly some things don’t last forever.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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