See you in the spring: Alas, this week’s feature article, “Do Not Disturb,” marks the season’s end for our gardening section, The Dirt. Till next March, we’ll put it out to pasture or—as author Cinthia Milner would have it—let it go dormant and hang our “Do not disturb” sign.
In my own garden, I’ve hastened efforts to clean up and put away. I’ve pulled the last of the tomatoes, harvested a small crop of winter squash and piled the debris high for composting. My collards, broccoli, kale and parsley linger into the cold season, so a touch of green remains. As the nights get frostier, the collards, especially, deepen in color from light to dark, vitamin-rich green. As for my Russian red kale, the colder the days and the nights, the more burnished it gets along the edges.
Like Milner, I also reflect on what worked this year and what didn’t. Mostly, I ponder where I went wrong. Perhaps I shouldn’t have planted the lemon and pickling cucumber varieties along the same trellis; both types started well, in precise, staggered production as planned. But by late season, I had half-round, half-cylindrical cukes with an odd (and unappetizing) yellow-green tint. Oops.
Nature has managed to once again prove that I’m only human, after all. I’ll do better next season, if nature allows. Until then, may you dream of gardens to come.