So, here’s the problem. Gardens need a rest. Gardeners need a rest. However, our growing seasons here in metro-Atlanta never really end. Oh, sure, the summer bounty slows down and eventually ends, but fall gardens are even better (or, at least, that’s what I believe). Then, of course, there are the hooped and covered beds that produce all winter. And suddenly, oh my goodness, it’s time for onions in late January and by February 15, I have potatoes in and and a steady stream of seeds right behind them. When is it time to rest?
Well, here’s the best answer I’ve found. You have to decide for yourself when that time is, and how you do it best. It may be now, in a hammock with a book, as the summer crops finish up. It may be just for a few moments each day, during your morning coffee in September after the kids are off to school, when breezes start to blow again, at a bistro table right there in the middle of your garden. You may decide to skip the fall crops and plant cover crops in your garden instead, to rejuvenate not just your soil but your soul. Or it may be during the time you spend tending and watering by focusing on your intentions and allowing yourself to connect more deeply with your actions (or, alternatively, simply daydreaming).
I always say that the garden resembles the gardener, and when my garden is feeling like a lot of work or I am struggling to find time to take care of it, chances are the rest of my life is experiencing the same challenges. That’s when I know it’s time, as Thoreau says in Walden, to “simplify, simplify, simplify.” Personally, I just finished spreading compost on all my garden beds and tossed buckwheat cover crop seeds on many of them, which takes those beds off my to-do list for a short while. I’ve designated one bed as my fall crop “nursery” and I am planting seeds there and only there. In short, yes, I’m taking a short break from my garden. This summer was especially hot, and I am tired. I need to fall in love with it all again, and I will, most likely within a couple of weeks.
Take a few simple actions, such as getting cover crop and fall seeds at Farmer D Organics’ store on Briarcliff Road (or make some online purchases from the comfort of your home and you don’t even have to go anywhere). And then allow yourself a little inaction.