September has come and come and that means it’s the end of the gardening season in Northern Ontario. This year has been a strange one for the garden, as the weather has been all over the place and an invasion of pests created even more problems. Even so, there were successes to be found. As the weather cools, the final bits of gardening happen and then the focus shifts to cleaning things up and preparing the area for next year. There’s not much to see in the September 2022 garden, but it does give an opportunity to evaluate how things went over the course of the season.
September 2022 garden
Don’t let the pictures fool you, nearly everything is dead at this point. A frost came in at the end of the month, nearly 2 weeks later than usual, and quickly killed off the plants. I can’t say it came as a shock, as September has always been the final month of gardening. Honestly, the plants had not been producing much even at the beginning of the month.
How did the garden do
Compared to other years, the garden was very lackluster this year. While some plants did go in the ground a bit late, it wasn’t so much time that they wouldn’t produce anything.
While last year, I had a bumper crop of beans, this year there were only two small harvests. Despite this lack of beans, I am happy that I got some. I believe that pests and odd weather were the main contributors to the plants not doing as well. Usually, I don’t have any problems with pest damage until the end of the season but this year they hit at the beginning.
The tomatoes did alright, but given how many plants I had, I would have expected to have quite a bounty of tomatoes. In the end, I only got a large ziplock bag full of tomatoes, which I do plan to turn into spaghetti sauce soon – until then, they are sitting in the freezer waiting. I did eat a few tomatoes but most of them were saved to be used later. Much like the beans, I believe weather planted a big factor. Our spring was very warm, then the summer ended up somewhat dry and cool, and then August was all over the place. September was oddly rainy, but that rain came too late as most of the plants were no longer producing and already dying at that point.
The zucchini also struggled, producing only a single zucchini. These plants were also hit hard right at the beginning by pests and while I never saw anything on the plants, the evidence was there.
For the most part, everything else really struggled and produced nothing. The peppers, cabbages, and broccoli truly struggled. The peppers never grew once they were transplanted and quickly died off. Meanwhile, the cabbage grew but never grew enough to form heads. The broccoli plants grew well and looked good, they even started to form heads, and then we had a few hot days and all the heads bolted. While we weren’t able to harvest any of the heads, the plants didn’t go to waste, as the leaves and flowers could be used as food for our rabbit. The radishes that I planted in the new garden grew well for a bit, however, they never took off enough to produce big enough radishes to bother picking them.
Probably the most productive plant, besides the broccoli for leaves, was the lettuce. Even then, it wasn’t until mid to late August that these plants took off and produced like crazy. Again, a lot of this went to our rabbit, but we took full advantage of the bounty of lettuce for the last few weeks.
What’s still growing?
The lettuce, which is slowing down dramatically, and a few broccoli plants are still growing but not much is still alive in the garden. The frost at the end of September killed off everything else. These plants will likely last another week or so before they stop growing.
The sunflowers are still alive though many of the leaves have shriveled after getting hit by two heavy frosts. The flowers themselves are still looking good and I hope to save some seeds from them if possible.
On the plus side, I finally added gravel to the paths in the new garden. Granted this technically happened at the beginning of October and not in September, but it was a long overdue job.
What’s next for the garden?
Fall cleanup will need to happen. This includes the last weeding and pulling any diseased plants. I will be leaving the remaining plants to break down and add nutrients to the soil.
I hope you enjoyed my September 2022 garden update. Do you have anything still growing in your garden?