Fall Gardening in North Texas: It Can Be Done
Each new day since August 5, 2013, when I planted the first of my fall vegetables, has been one of anticipation and wonder. This week, the garden greeted me each morning with brilliant yellow blooms on the gourds, pumpkins, and squash. Also, after planting some bachelor button seeds last week, I have encountered tiny little green sprigs popping out of the soil, so many, that all of them together are loud enough for me to hear them saying hello with tiny fairy voices!
Do you get a sense of awe at the sight of a new developing plant? If so, I suppose, you are a gardener at heart, like me. You don’t have to be a Botanist or a Master Gardener to be a gardener at heart. I think some people are born with that instinct! It infiltrates the bloodstream and flows through the heart. It has been passed down from generation to generation from the beginning of man, in every part of Earth where humans have dwelt.
I have been told that it’s pointless to grow a fall garden in North Texas. However, I’m determined to try! I asked myself, “How did my ancestors survive through winter with only summer bounty to sustain them? There are not enough jars to store all the food needed. Also, what if their summer crops failed? They must have had some fall gardens?” Their generation didn’t waste anything including a window of time that could mean more harvest bounty. Remember the Pilgrims and Indians? I have a feeling that the pumpkin and squash they ate on the first Thanksgiving were from a late crop!!!
Even though summer is my favorite season, Fall is the icing on the cake……mainly, because it is short and sweet, but also because it is our last chance to really enjoy the outdoors until Spring. In my area, fall lasts until December most of the time. Once December has parted, all I really want to do is hide under a cozy throw blanket until April 1st! However, this year since I have occupied myself with farming and gardening, I must face the challenge of working in the colder outdoors (at least, when I’m not writing). Farm animals and land still require tending in the grips of Winter’s bitterly cold hands as much as when in the warm open palms of Spring and Summer’s freedom. Even the animals wait with me, and some for the same reason, waiting for the “goods.” Therefore, I am fortunate to have my dog to wait with me, she is very patient and helps keep the thieves like rabbits and squirrels away!!!
If I fail at getting this Fall garden to grow and produce a bit of a bounty this year. You can still find me right back here next year to try again, hopefully, armed with new skills and knowledge that only experience can bring. That’s what gardening is, right? Hope in its simplest of states……working, then waiting…..watching, praying, and hoping for God’s Bounty? Gardeners, Keep the faith……the fruit will eventually come!!