The Autumn Shift

Amanda here- wishing you a happy fall.

One of the things that feels the most profound to me about gardening is getting synced up with rhythms of the year.  No doubt you’ve noticed it too.  Gone are the days of frenetic plant growth, replaced now by a slower, cooler pace.  Mornings are dewy, darkness is falling earlier each night.  In climates like ours, where summer is so intense, the arrival of autumn is a welcome treat.  A deep exhale after a long, hot season.

Doubtless you’ve noticed some powdery mildew on your plants- to me this always signals the end of summer and the permission to begin the destructive act of putting the garden to bed for the winter.

Powdery mildew- totally normal at this time of year!

In my garden, it’s been an early year- a lot of the plants I would expect to be producing now gave up a few weeks ago.  So it goes.  I got my fall/winter greens in a little late, so we’ll see if they size up on time to feed us as the weather cools.

We will go into this is greater detail next month, but in preparing for the cooler season ahead there are some things to consider:

  • Planting garlic- this can go in anytime now (I usually wait till Oct)
  • Will you do a winter cover crop this year?  A cover crop is usually a mix of nitrogen fixing plants and grains that grow throughout the winter and get incorporated back into the garden in the spring.  In a home garden this can be a little overkill- I like the solution of lasagna gardening which is essentially layering garden waste, food scraps and cardboard/newspaper to make a lasagna of fertility that will work all winter long.
  • Do you want to put in any perennial plants this fall/winter?  Now is a good time to begin thinking about these garden workhorses again.

As we shift into the autumn, it’s a great time to give thanks for all the abundance around us.  Here are a few fun family ideas for celebrating this turn of seasons.