The hot, wet summer broken by the Biblical rains of Labor Day weekend may have ushered in fall, but the change in weather hasn’t exactly energized me.
Oh, I like the daytime temps in the 80s, dipping into the 50s at night. Even the fish in the fountain beside the front door have noticed the arrival of fall.
When I step outside, the goldfish congregate at the end of the fountain closest to my front door. I look down to see eight tiny mouths opening and closing. It makes me feel large and needed.
It would be nice if the cool weather pushed me into the garden to weed and break ground. This is a must if we’re to have arugula and romaine lettuce this winter.
The last few months, I’ve been making solar lanterns for the yard, but you can make only so many solar lanterns before your yard looks like an outdoor showroom.
At night, I turn off the electrical lights and make my way to bed by solar light. It’s not a life-changing thing, but the solar lights come in handy when we lose power during storms.
Last spring, I bought an electric lawn mower that trails a long power cord. With practice, I learned to manage the cord after almost chopping it up with the mower.
That’s the only drawback with an electric mower. There are battery-powered electric mowers, but I read that they aren’t as powerful as ones with cords and don’t hold a charge long enough to mow big yards or make it through the winter without charging.
Electric mowers are quiet, easy to start (you push a button) and don’t require gas or oil. I like being able to shut the mower off to move a chair or flower pot or a tree branch and, then, restart the mower with a push of a button.
So far, the cool weather hasn’t put me in a mood to mow the yard. When I read outside, I’m careful to face away from the lawn.
Eventually, the cool weather will return my attention to the yard where giant zinnias crane crooked necks at the street lamp, a bank of morning glory spills out of one corner of the garden and up the same pole that holds the street lamp, and summer-stricken rudbeckia begs to be topped.
The sweet peppers that survived the summer now must come back from too much rain, and the eggplant has all but quit. I lopped the top third of the basil, and it will make the stuff for pesto until first frost.
After a south Louisiana summer takes its best shot and we survive, we may feel there SHOULD be a sense of urgency about outside chores and a return to regular walking, jogging and bicycle riding, but what’s the rush?
A few more days’ idleness will not affect the fall garden that much. If you must make a start, plant lettuce, mustard, sugar snap and sweet pea seed in flats or pots of dirt. Put them where they get morning sun and keep them watered.
By the time your lethargy lifts, the seedlings will be ready to transplant to the garden.