It has not rained here since July 9. We had a few showers today, but not enough to change the operative color I see from my deck from brown to green. The garden has been lovingly watered with my new watering wand and it has done remarkably well. The apple orchard is a little trickier. Last Monday I did a slow drip 40 minutes per tree. They responded nicely and have stopped dropping their leaves. I want to keep them nourished, but I also want to encourage deep roots. If there is not substantial rain in these next few days, I will do this again next Monday.
Garden tasks have been varied this past week. I have been readying the garlic beds by adding compost and manure to ½ of each 4x8 raised bed. It is dry, dry, dry in there, so I have been wetting down the base of the bed and the compost before I add it. The compost sits in the wheelbarrow and soaks up the water overnight before I add it in. It should make for healthy garlic next spring.
I also pulled up all the beans today. As a result the garden is much less vertical.
On this point, I think I may have discovered that magic moment when the garden turns from anticipation of growth and newness to a decline and a waning toward fall. (See June 20) It has to do with verticality. When my garden was its tallest, it was its most lush, its most green. Sad to say that might have been around the first week in August. After that, the potatoes started to brown, the beans began to wither, and the hornworms began to nibble.
There are still crops coming toward their peak. The eggplant, the yard long asparagus beans, and the Long Keeper tomatoes are still moving toward completion. And the root crops like rutabaga, onions, carrots and parsnips are still chugging along safe in their under surface world. Instead of growing up, they are growing down into a safe world of underground nourishment.