Gardening

With gardening, it ain’t over ’til it’s over – Pine Journal

Summary

But, this year when I returned with my family the third week in June from a week-long trip away from the farm, I truly thought the garden was beyond redemption. Some of the plants were dried up because of a week of record heat and continued drought, others had been chewed by deer and the rest had endured a combination of both.

I was ready to till up the garden and buy my vegetables and fruit at the farmers market, but my husband, …….

npressfetimg-767.png

But, this year when I returned with my family the third week in June from a week-long trip away from the farm, I truly thought the garden was beyond redemption. Some of the plants were dried up because of a week of record heat and continued drought, others had been chewed by deer and the rest had endured a combination of both.

I was ready to till up the garden and buy my vegetables and fruit at the farmers market, but my husband, Brian, and daughter, Ellen, were determined to save it. They faithfully watered the plants until they revived, rotating a sprinkler to cover some of the rows and hauling sprinkling cans to water the plants that the hose didn’t reach.

The water perked up the plants enough so that by early August we were able to pick some green beans and potatoes, and by mid-month, sweet corn. I was glad to be proven wrong and glad we didn’t send the vegetables to an early grave, but I still was doubtful we would be harvesting anything else.

Potatoes, baked, mashed and in stews, will be part of the Bailey-Gregoire family meals this fall and winter.
Ann Bailey / Agweek

I was wrong — really, really wrong.

Several inches of rain and unseasonably warm temperatures in late August, September and early October gave the garden a big boost, and we harvested a bumper crop of tomatoes, carrots, squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, bell peppers, egg plants and zucchini.

As always, we also shared our overrun of fruits and vegetables with family and friends. I took a big box of tomatoes to a friend who makes salsa and shared zucchini and eggplant with friends who like to cook with them.

Meanwhile, the gladiolas flourished and I decorated our dining room table with several vases full of yellow, coral, pink and red blooms and still had enough to share bouquets with friends.

After looking like they wouldn’t produce a single blossom, the gladiolas in the Bailey-Gregoire garden came to life in late summer.
Photo Contributed by Diana Tveit

The late-season produce yielded even better. I always say gardening is my summer workout routine, and this year, I got extra-good free-weight lifting sessions by carrying the watermelons from the garden to my car so I could deliver them to friends or up to the house so they could pick them up by the front door.

Despite an early drought, watermelon thrived in Ann Bailey’s garden in 2021.
Ann Bailey / Agweek

In all, we harvested about 40 watermelons this year. The largest weighed 35 pounds and the rest averaged about 20 pounds. Besides being big, the watermelons were super sweet and long lasting. In fact, we picked the remaining watermelons from the garden on Oct. 10 …….

Source: https://www.pinejournal.com/opinion/columns/7259253-With-gardening-it-aint-over-til-its-over