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Well, summer’s nearly over, or autumn’s nearly here depending on how you look at it (I personally don’t count it as over until the equinox, September 23rd this year). The last of the potatoes and beets are in. I immediately sowed some more beet seeds as an experiment to see if I might get a small crop of baby beets by late autumn. Assuming the weather co-operates. I really ought to sow some radish seeds too…those have a short enough growing period that there should definitely be something out of that.

Unfortunately the last batch of elderberries (Sambucus canadensis) I picked got shoved in a corner and forgotten about for a week and now they really don’t look appetising at all. Compost heap for those. At this rate there’ll only be enough for one pot of jam. Used to be I dreaded the end of summer because it meant I had to go back to school. Now it means I have to spend ages dealing with my produce…which is entirely my fault, of course, but when you spend hours breaking your back and sweating and swearing at squirrels, it’s a little annoying to remember that you’re not quite done even when you get back indoors.

It’s been a cool summer this year and it’s cooling down pretty quickly as autumn approaches. That probably means a really cold winter. It usually does. One good thing about the chilly nights is that the Japanese beetles (Popilia japonica) don’t seem to get about as much.

The ‘Black Peony’ poppies gave an interesting show, but it didn’t last for long. I know I did start them late, but it looks as if they’re done flowering already. If any seeds come from them I’ll keep them and reseed next year, but I’m not ordering more. They were nice to look at, but nowhere near as dark as I’d hoped, and two flowers per plant seems sparse.

To do: sow the radishes, harvest the elecampane (Inula helenium) and marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis) roots, install the framework for trellissing the hops (Humulus lupulus) next year or maybe the year after. Damn but those buggers grew fast.

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