Living in Michigan we often have our weather ups and downs. Our weather is so bipolar that you can leave out in the morning wearing a sweater and long pants and by noon you could have changed into a tank and shorts. Even though summer is ending faster than a speeding bullet, I have not quite got my feel of gardening for the year. As I mentioned in my previous posts “The Beginner Gardener” and Fall Gardening”, I have started a new garden from seeds in the middle of summer.
Ten days ago, when I direct sowed my seeds, it was a blazing 90 degrees. Today ( Which is 8/26/2015) our high will only reach 64 degrees and our low somewhere around 57 degrees. With this crazy and mixed up weather, my gardeners anxiety has started to kick in. I began to worry rather or not this fall gardening thing was such a great idea? The maximum amount of time needed for my longest maturing vegetable is 60 days. So if the estimated dates on the packages are accurate, then I should be able to harvest around the 14th of October and even earlier for some items.
That should be plenty of time under normal late summer and fall weather, but then again, this is Michigan. What will happen if we get an early snow fall? I know that our average frost date is 10/09 and the items I planted are supposed to be pretty hardy but what if, what if, what if???
Another great concern of mine was, what if the birds eat the seeds before they even started to sprout? Every morning, after I planted I would get up and go check my garden. To protect my seeds, my only option was a good old-fashioned scarecrow. I read that I could use hay to cover them, but I wondered if that would slow down the growth and then when I tried to find hay, none of my local stores even had it in yet. I guess there isn’t quite a demand in the city for hay in the summer.
I decided in order to decrease the likelihood of the birds eating the seeds, I would water only at night (since birds aren’t nocturnal for the most part) and that way, I wouldn’t have to worry about the worms coming out, and the birds noticing that a smorgasbord was waiting for them slightly under the ground.
So far this approach seems to be working. I now have little sprouts at every planting site. I guess all of the worries and paranoia may be in vain. I have always been one for a challenge so I will continue to challenge myself with new veggies, techniques and all around gardening. Be sure to follow me as I keep you updated on the status of my first fall garden.