Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Letting Go of the 2021 Gardening Season

It's so hard to let go of something you love.

The 2021 gardening season in the Binghamton, New York area is close to closing.  I can't let go yet.

The first frost date approaches.  Last year, it was in September.  It's more commonly sometime in October.  And, if it doesn't come in October, our community garden wants us out by October 31.

We've already picked our (almost) last tomatoes.  No more tomato sandwiches. 

No more zucchini (yes, I'm one of those who love zucchini).

The zinnias are slowing down in their blooms.  We still have peppers and eggplants growing or ripening, but they will die with the frost. Ditto for our basil (sob). Ditto for the last planting of beans - we are finally getting beans, after all of our previous efforts this year being eaten by (we think) deer (despite getting repellent spray).

It's time to make sure of my supply of old sheets and towels, to cover plantings I'd like to continue a few more days.

But it is also time, now, to take cuttings.  Our weather channel has predicted lows in the low 40's for Wednesday and Thursday night.  We are in zone 5b, and have a long winter/early spring ahead of us.

I need to take cuttings of plants I want to try to root now, before the stress of cold weather makes it more difficult for them.  Some other plants, already in pots, we will try to save in their pots.

In the past, I've tried to keep as much as possible going inside the house, but it becomes harder and harder. 

Spouse will definitely take rosemary in.  It's not hardy where we live. 

We also had success with lemon grass, both rooting it in water, and transplanting it into pots, so we will probably do it again.  Vietnamese coriander rooted easily in water last year, and I didn't find it locally this year, so that's a possibility.  Last year's poinsettias? They've been outdoors all summer in a large pot.  I may try to keep them.

Last year, I rooted a Bravo impatien plant and it bloomed in my north window until I could plant it out in spring.

Coleus? I've had varying success rooting them.  I know I can keep them indoors if they do.

Still, it's not the same.

I am dragged into fall each year, kicking and screaming.  Eventually, I like fall, and may even eat an apple cider donut or two. I'll take lots of pictures of leaves turning.  But at the back of my mind is this:

Winter is coming.

And I am not ready. 

Are you?


  1. ...the gardening season may be coming to an end, but there is so much work to do.

  2. I look forward to fall, it’s a great time of year. Not very fond of winter, though.

  3. Weather's funny. I'm zone 8b, yet our nights are already in the 40s, and first frost can be in the next week. Or, it could be a month from now. A lot of things are already dying back, a bit early. Are they telling me the winter will be harsh? I hope not. Fortunately, being ready for winter doesn't require overwintering any plants. I do lose a branch or two on the Tuscan Blue rosemary each winter, but the rest are fine. My one productive tomato has just started putting out too many! A Russian Purple, not my favorite.

  4. I love zucchini too. My condolences to you on the loss of a great harvest season. Hoping for another great one next year.

  5. There's something so bittersweet about this year. All that burgeoning new life from last spring is coming to an end. Sigh. We'll wait till next year.

  6. Husby has been harvesting for weeks. I dread the moment when he says, "Sorry, Hon. No more tomatoes."
    I do love Fall. So far we've been frost free, which is quite remarkable. We're going to try to winter over my begonias this year. We tried last year, but they got too dry and desiccated.
    I think we're pretty well ready. Not resigned, but ready! ;)

  7. So sorry. May it be a winter of short duration.

  8. Alana,

    Gardening is hard work. I admire your tenacious spirit. I love fall and whole heartedly welcome its return but like you I have in the recess of mind Winter is coming. And, no I'm never ready for that!


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