September is coming to an end. This is a big month for the garden. It often signals the end of the growing season, which also means the scramble to get the last of the harvest done. After having an unseasonably hot summer, September quickly brought in those cool fall temperatures. We experienced several nights of negative temperatures with several frosts, which did a number on the plants. In fact, I cannot believe the difference between how the garden looks now and what it looked like at the end of September last year. It’s amazing how much of a difference there can be each year. This September 2020 garden update will show how the garden has done this month.
September 2020 garden update
What’s growing well
At this point, pretty much nothing.
September ushered in colder temperatures, particularly at night and a few heavy frosts were all it took to kill off most of the plants. This is inevitable for this time of year. In fact, it was September 17th when I pulled the vast majority of plants in the garden. Normally, I would take a lot of effort to cover as many plants as I can during the first few frosts to help keep the plants going just a bit longer. However, this year the plants had slowed down their production well before those frosts hit, so it wasn’t worth my efforts. Instead, I focused on picking what remained of the vegetables and let nature do what it wanted to.
Now, there are a couple of plants left. The chives, which have been going strong for years are still alive, though they have started to die back a bit in preparation for winter. There are also two pots of herbs that seem unaffected by the colder temperatures. The rosemary, which took its sweet time growing all summer long is still looking good. I plan to leave it out there as long as possible. The oregano is also looking good despite the multiple frosts. I cut it back to only a single stock earlier in the month, drying what I had harvested, and yet the plant has continued to grow and covers most of the pot once more.
What’s been harvested
Long story short, everything has been harvested.
Since mid-August, the garden has been in various stages of needing to be harvested with the beans being the most prominent. For the first two weeks of the month, I was regularly in the garden picking something.
Some of the last things to be harvested were garlic, potatoes, and carrots. One of my gardening experiments this year was growing garlic for the first time. Planted in the spring, it was a waiting game to see just how well it would grow. The plants never got very large but I was holding out hope that something good was happening underground. When the time came to harvest then, since the tops had died back, I was a bit disappointed. Sure, I grew garlic, but they didn’t get anywhere near as big as I had hoped. But at least I can say I finally grew garlic.
Most of my potatoes had been grown in pots this year and had been harvested earlier. However, I did put a few in a raised bed. The time had come to see how well they had done. From five plants I got a small harvest, enough for 2-3 dinners worth. So while it wasn’t anything spectacular, I can’t complain because garden potatoes taste so much better than store-bought ones.
Finally, there were carrots to be pulled. I didn’t have high expectations for one of the beds, as the carrot tops never got very big. Luckily for me, these carrots did much better than expected. Some were long and straight, just like the big carrots you see in stores while others were smaller, but perfect for snacking.
Front flower garden
This is where most of the living plants remain. Because it is protected by the house and doesn’t get sun until the afternoon, the plants in the front flower garden have survived all of the frosts so far. In fact, the snapdragons are currently in their second round of flowering. Some have even started to form seedheads. I have done a bit of seed saving with these flowers so I can grow them again next year.
I have put away the decorative deer that I had nestled among the flowers as part of my fall garden clean up. I miss seeing it, but I prefer to put it away a bit early instead of waiting and having the wrangle it out of the snow.
The chocolate mint was cut back to only a few small sprigs and what was harvested has been dried. This plant grew quite large in the summer and I was able to propagate several other plants from it. I really enjoy the smell of this plant and can’t wait for it to come back next year.
I hope you enjoyed my September 2020 garden update. How is your garden looking this month?