We have all heard the quote “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” Now, this might have been true for Romeo and Juliet, but it is not true for the gardener and his plants. Parting between the gardener and his plants is not sweet when it is hastened by a visit from Peter Cottontail.
Another quote which many of us might remember is, “what is good for the goose is good for the gander.” Once again, this is not an enjoyable quote for the gardener. What is good for the rabbit is not good for the gardener.
I start my monthly blog with these quotes because I experienced a fall harvest failure. This year, I attempted to extend my growing season by planting for a fall harvest. This was a new venture for me. In my past experience, planting happened once a year. So, I was excited to see how planting beans in the late summer would work.
As the harvest from my summer garden began to dwindle away, I was excited to see new growth in my garden. The joy of seeing new growth is normally reserved only for the spring months. However, this year, the joy of seeing new growth was once again realized in the late summer.
I was excited as the corn was growing taller. Then, as the beans began to sprout, my excitement began to grow. Maybe it is possible to grow beans and corn to harvest in the early fall.
Well, soon, my excitement became disappointment. A late summer storm destroyed my corn. I was not too upset. I didn’t expect the corn to grow. I only planted the corn as a trial. I didn’t expect much of a harvest.
However, the beans were growing well. They were beyond sprouting. They had grown about 6 inches high. Then tragedy struck. One morning I walked to the garden, and the beans were gone. Apparently, Peter Cottontail had invited his friends over for a buffet dinner. My beans were gone. There would be no fall harvest of Blue Lakes from my garden.
All hope was not lost for a positive result from extending my growing season. As a trial, I also planted some seed in a 5 gallon bucket in which I had grown potatoes earlier in the season. I also planted some seed in other containers. These all have grown beautifully. Since I had had a few containers planted, the harvest is small. However, the success is sufficient that I am encouraged to plant again in the fall next year.
Also, this fall, I planted late peas and Chinese cabbage. The peas are growing nicely. The cabbage is too. I don’t really know what to expect from the Chinese cabbage. I picked the seed up through Grow Appalachia.
As is always the case, failure in growing is never a lost cause. There are lessons to be learned from any failure. What are the lessons I learned from my Fall Harvest Failure? Beans will grow in the fall. Pests are still present. I need to plan for another visit from Peter Cottontail in the spring. And finally, don’t be too upset when your harvest is a failure, but your mother-in-law and father-in-law are canning beans on October 12 because they just picked a bushel of beans. Remember, we are supposed to rejoice with those who rejoice. So, I guess, I can rejoice they found success, when I experienced a Fall Harvest Failure.