Share this post

Mid-season garden report: The blush is off the rose

With summer very much in full swing, I find myself thinking a little differently about my garden these days. Certainly different than I did several months ago.

We have been enjoying quite a lot of variety from the garden for many weeks now, and I appreciate every bit of it. However, my feelings about the garden have changed somewhat lately, and the desire to be in it has faded a bit.

Yes, the blush appears to be off the rose. That special pull to work in the garden tending young plants and weeding enthusiastically has now on occasion become just another chore that must be done.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love my garden and certainly the passion is still there. But now the newness of the plants maturing and bearing their first fruit is not the thrill it was a short while back. It is hotter and drier now, and in the never ending weed battle, the weeds are starting to get the upper hand.

About the weeds. With the mulching I do and my “flexible” retirement schedule, I supposed my garden should be in pretty good shape this year when it came to the weeds. Not so much the case. Normally I say I do a pretty good job until about July 4, and then it is all downhill from there.

I think I started the downhill slide a few weeks early this year. In my defense, I did read an article many years ago that said well established vegetable plants will produce nearly as well even with later season weed competition. (I really don’t think that is the case.) At any rate, my garden is not on any garden tour list!

Now, for the rest of the story. After I wrote the above part of this blog, I took a break and went to look at my tomatoes. They are coming along a little more slowly this year with the varieties I planted and also due to the slightly cooler spring we have had.

Well, lo and behold, I found several Roma tomatoes that were ripe. Very cool! The first tomatoes of the season are always a pretty exciting event for me.

Suddenly, my attitude reverted back a bit to when the garden first started producing. I guess now I can get a little excited about checking my tomatoes every day as they slowly start to ripen. Perhaps the rose didn’t lose all of its blush.

So now the garden is a little drier, a little dustier and certainly a little weedier. I have had to start watering again as those steady rains from earlier this year have tapered off.

Finding those first few tomatoes reminded me again of how the garden is a lot like life. We get pretty excited when things are new and fresh, whether it’s the garden, a car or even a relationship. But oftentimes the newness wears off, and the reality of the maintenance and work involved becomes a bit more tedious and not quite as exciting for us.

But even as life might seem to get a bit predictable and maybe even a little boring at times, there are still those events that come along that spice things up a little.

We love the really exciting things that come along in our lives but don’t miss the chance to get excited about some of the little things also. It could be something as simple as picking your first ripe tomato.

For more gardening tips and inspirations from Master Gardener Jim Carpenter, subscribe to the Gardening for Life email newsletter.

Type and hit enter