August means it’s time to do a lot of things. It’s time to harvest saw palmetto berries. It’s time to harvest grapes. It’s time to rake the pond of the crazy amount of algae that grows there. It’s time to dream of much, much cooler weather while we’re doing all of this outdoor tasks. And it’s time to plan the fall garden.
I feel like I’m always rushing around to get this done, and it doesn’t end up getting done like it should. This year feels a little better. I actually bought containers for planting my seedlings. Litter box pans work great! They are very sturdy, and they hold a lot. Although, a side note on buying them: when you buy four at one time, be prepared for judgement from the cashier, as though you are some unstoppable cat lady with far too many cats. Then recover by thinking that you are a far stronger person who doesn’t mind the opinion of the cashier at the Dollar General and move on. Because it’s planting season!
I love to plant the first seedlings. It seems like it takes me a while to start this process. I think about it for a while first, which takes me a couple weeks. I’m not sure why I think about it for so long. I imagine all the different delicious veggies I’ll plant and where they’ll go in the garden. I dream about harvesting all of them, and having so much that I have to spend a week in the kitchen, canning and freezing. Then I realize that if I don’t plant now, my seedlings won’t be ready in time! Then, finally, I get to it. I’m a weirdo.
My dad always had a beautiful garden. I was always impressed (and a little envious!) of how much he harvested. It was amazing! Although, not surprising. He didn’t just find a project and do it. He mastered projects so he would excel at them. Since he died, I was given his seeds and all of his planting things…so. many. seeds.
So, this year I’m hoping to carry on my dad’s gardening skills torch. He was a careful and meticulous gardener. His rows were perfectly neat. He planned, measured, marked, made sure each row was as straight as an arrow. I know my rows will not be perfect, but that’s okay. Our garden is so large that it takes several days to get the rows done, although the kids might be a big help again this season. And our soil is completely different where we live than his soil up in Maryland. We compete with sand here. Lots of sand. So, it’s been challenging to get things just right. Each season we figure it out more and more, and one day I’m sure we’ll reach the point where we have so many tomatoes that I have to look for things to do with them. Have you ever made ketchup? It’s pretty easy!