56 In Gardening

Transitioning The Garden From Summer To Fall

Transitioning The Garden From Summer To Fall | angiethefreckledrose.com

Welcome back to Tuesdays in the Garden!  August can become a tricky time for gardeners.  It's easy to fall into the late summer slump, feeling unsure of what to do next other than weed and wait.  Things like garden pests and intruders can really get you down.  Losings plants to disease or even severe weather can start to make you feel frustrated.  Then, those dreaded feelings of failure creep in.  You start to realize how long it will be until next summer when you can start all over again.  It can be hard to see past all of your crops that flopped and enjoy everything you accomplished during the season.  The good news is August is the perfect time to renovate and reinvigorate!  All you need is some seeds, a shovel and a little motivation!  You just have to remind yourself that there are a bunch of crops that love cool weather, and actually do better in it!  I'm inspired, and want to remind you that it's not to late to get out there and continue to grow! 

Transitioning The Garden From Summer To Fall | angiethefreckeldrose.com

The downside of gardening. When a ripening cherry tomato is munched and tossed aside by a chipmunk.

I love gardening, but I have to admit I get disillusioned by things that are out of my control.  This year, I had trouble with raccoons digging up the bulbs I spent hours planting.  I found out they are extremely attracted to the crab fertilizer I used.  I spent so much time trying to figure out ways to keep those bulbs in the ground.  I ended up replanting them more than once and turning to cloches for some extra help.  After that, I had a giant breech in my vegetable garden security.  A groundhog that set up a home in my backyard found a way to tunnel under my old chicken wire fence.  He feasted on bush beans, lettuce, squash, morning glories and even bit the tops off my peanut plants.  I was heartbroken to see all of the devastation he caused in such a small amount of time.  I also have a chipmunk that made a home in my vegetable garden.  No matter how many times I fill in the tunnel he dug in my raised bed, he comes right back and makes it again.  He enjoys the protection of my fenced in garden.  I see him bury his peanuts and seeds in different places and scattering them inside different protected containers.  I've seen him taking a nap inside his small tunnel/home.  I also see the remnants of all the strawberries and tomatoes he steals, eats, then tosses aside for me to find.  

Transitioning The Garden From Summer To Fall | angiethefreckeldrose.com

Tiny, bright yellow Oleander aphids infesting my healthy swamp milkweed plants. You can barely see them, but they are there causing all sorts of problems!

It's killed me to see the damage aphids and lily beetles have caused this year.  I've tried different methods to get rid of pests, but it's hard to implement them everywhere in your yard.  You protect one plant, then they always find another.  We are also experiencing one of the worst droughts I've ever seen here in New England.  We are at the point where no watering of lawns and gardens is allowed until the ban is lifted.  To hear this is a gardeners worst nightmare.  My rain barrel is empty and my lawn is pretty much nonexistent.  It is brown, dry and crunches under my feet when I walk on it.  Containers are struggling, and healthy soil is turning into dust.  All of this can really take its toll, and losing plants due to the lack of water can make you feel guilty and sad.  I have to remember to give myself a break and constantly remind myself I'm doing the best I can with the circumstances I've been given.  It's tough to remember that any amount of work done no matter how small, will help your garden be better than it was before.  No effort you put in is for nothing, and it all does pays off! 

Caught In The Act!

As I was fixing up some of my potted plants, I noticed some rustling around my peppers.  As I looked closer, I saw the chipmunk who has taken up residence in my vegetable garden bed.  Here is his tunnel he created to relax and cool off in.  I caught him enjoying one of my ripe cherry tomatoes I was just about to pick!  It's a chipmunk's world and us humans just live in it!

Reinvigorating The Garden

Transitioning The Garden From Summer To Fall | angiethefreckeldrose.com Time to put this season's garden troubles behind you and keep going!  We can't dwell on what didn't work, and there's nothing wrong with trying something more than once.  Now is the perfect time to start cool weather crops.  Diving right into new crops and garden maintenance in August will bring you a great fall garden.  When planning for the colder season, find out your first frost date.  I live in USDA zone 6a New England, so my average first frost date is roughly October 1 - October 10.  You can find yours here.  I've put together a list of crops I am starting from seed for fall harvesting.  I might add a few more crops along the way as I go, but this is a basic outline of what I have already.

Arugula - Rocket - 35 days to maturity
Cabbage - Brunswick - 85 days to maturity
Carrot - Danvers 126 Half Long - 75 days to maturity
Carrot - Kaleidoscope Blend - 75 days to maturity
Pea - Dwarf Grey Sugar - 65 days to maturity
PeaSugar Snap - 70 days to maturity
Pea - Wando - 69 days to maturity
Radish - Cherry Belle - 24 days to maturity
Rutabaga - American Purple Top - 90 days to maturity
Squash - Black Beauty Zucchini - 48 days to maturity 
Squash - Yellow Crookneck - 53 days to maturity
Spinach - Bloomsdale Longstanding - 45 days to maturity
Spinach - Olympia Hybrid - 45 days to maturity 

Transitioning The Garden From Summer To Fall | angiethefreckeldrose.com Later in the season, I pay close attention to the average harvesting dates on the seed packages.  You want to make sure most veggies can be harvested before the dangers of frost, and that they have plenty of time to grow.  Some vegetables like rutabaga and kale do fine with frost, and can continue to mature well into the winter months.  It's good to take all of this into consideration when planning.  I like to use the Days From Date Calculator when planting my seeds.  It makes planting more tangible for me and outlines how long I have to wait.  Some other crops you can plant for the fall season include lettuce, kale, swiss chard, broccoli and beans. 

Continue Harvesting

It is important not to give up hope because of the crops you may have lost.  Keep enjoying the success you do have!  My nasturtium blooms are out of this world this year!  I have never seen so much vibrant color in such small spaces.  I'm getting ready to harvest some beautiful Bright Lights swiss chard for the first time ever.  I'm also getting ready to harvest more sage, oregano, lemon balm and chives.  My Scarlet runner beans are continuing to produce, as well as my lunch for the chipmunks (cherry tomatoes.)  Soon, it will be sweet corn and sunflower season!  I'm still looking forward to some late summer bulbs putting on a show.  It can really be a challenge focusing on what you do have versus what you don't have.  Don't throw in the towel just yet and try never to compare!  

Transitioning The Garden From Summer To Fall | angiethefreckeldrose.com

Here's the vegetables that are thriving in my garden.

People tend to share only the good pictures, so you never truly know what could be going wrong in their own garden.  I've had some years where my tomato harvests were huge, then other years where disease and pests really did a number on my plants.  Some years of a never ending amount of cucumbers, and other years filled with maybe two if I was lucky.  We all struggle, no matter how long we have been growing.  You can be the biggest expert, but still fail due to something out of your control ruining your plants.  Never stop growing something because you haven't had much luck with it in the past.  It will be that much more rewarding when it finally does grow!  I haven't grown one batch of decent carrots, but I'm not giving up and will continue to try.  Just because another gardener says something is easy to grow, doesn't mean it's easy for everyone.  Location, weather, soil and sunlight all have a huge impact on the results.  Just know that I have been through most if not all of the downfalls and fiascos you can encounter in the garden world, and it's still all worth the trouble!

Tuesdays In The Garden | angiethefreckledrose.com

Tuesdays In The Garden

Don't forget to hop on over and check out these great posts!  Each one will help you get started with your fall garden.  You can click on the pictures or links below to read each one!  Get some great advice on what kinds of plants to grow from Shell.  Learn all about pruning and deadheading for fall color from Jami.  Michelle shares easy steps to start a fall garden.  Need some advice on fall garden chores?  Diane has you covered!  

Transitioning The Garden From Summer To Fall | angiethefreckeldrose.com
Transitioning The Garden From Summer To Fall | angiethefreckeldrose.com
Transitioning The Garden From Summer To Fall | angiethefreckeldrose.com
Transitioning The Garden | angiethefreckledrose.com

I'm happy that I have two full months left of gardening before the frost hits!  I've restarted the bush beans and lettuce that the groundhog devoured for dinner.  My peanut plants are continuing to grow despite being gnawed on.  I'm going to file away this year's gardening mishaps and continue planting no matter what comes my way.  I'm hoping you have enjoyed a relatively stress free gardening season this year.  Remember to keep your hands covered in dirt and continue learning and trying new things.  Are you planning on continuing to grow into the fall season?  What are you planning on planting in your vegetable garden?  Tell me all about it in the comment section below.  You can also send me pictures or tweet me @thefreckledrose.  Wishing you all many more successful garden harvests before this gardening season comes to a close! 

In Case You Missed It - How To Grow Elephant Garlic



Transitioning The Garden From Summer To Fall | angiethefreckeldrose.com


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  • Shelly
    August 2, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    I feel your pain with critters in the garden. The birds and squirrels love to cause trouble in mine. They steal strawberries and only eat half. The birds will snip off the new seedlings and just leave them there. I’m constantly pulling up peanuts in the garden from the squirrels planting, I guess they are trying to tell me to grow peanuts. 🙂

    I’m also going to plant a few plants in our garden this fall. We had a hot spring and now a cool summer so while some things did really well, others not so much. My beans are struggling this year and the tomatoes are really slow to ripen. I’m thinking we will have lots of green tomatoes to ripen inside this year. But we make the best of it. I hope your fall garden does well for you!

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 3, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      It’s never an easy task controlling the garden critters. It really does kill me that they only eat half! Haha yes, maybe it’s a sign! It drives me crazy when they go searching for those peanuts and make a huge mess. I have some crops that are slow to ripen as well. If this drought keeps up, I may have to switch to a succulent garden! Good luck with your fall garden and keep me updated 🙂

  • Diane
    August 2, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Love this post! Yes we have critters in the garden too. Mostly moles and they don’t eat a lot but they make messy dirt mounds all over. We also have our share of pests like flea beetles and aphids. They are doing some damage and Dave gets discouraged when his hard work in the garden is foo-barred by natural enemies. We also fight fungi in our garden, especially squash and tomato wilt.
    I love your video of the chipmunk. He’s way cuter than moles:) Anyway thanks for the encouragement. It comes at a good time. We also have to face a water shortage due to our old drying well. As I’m writing this we are having a rain for the first time in weeks! Love a good soaking rain. Here’s hoping you get one soon!

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 3, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      Moles and voles really do cause a lot of damage! It’s the worst when they mess with plant roots by tunneling through them. The war against garden pests is a tough one to win. Tell him to keep the faith though! I feel like no matter how much you care for a tomato plant, they are bound to have a problem by the end of the season. Totally frustrating! Yes, it’s hard to stay mad at the chipmunks since they are so cute. Yay to rain! Hopefully the skies keep that up and thank you. Fingers crossed we get some soon 🙂

  • Jami
    August 2, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Oh, that’s terrible about your drought!! So hard with all the work you’ve put into it. 🙁
    And your first paragraph pretty much describes me to a T in August, ha!
    I appreciate your positive attitude and the things you are doing to try to enjoy fall gardening!

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 3, 2016 at 2:32 pm

      It hasn’t been fun, but I’m doing my best to work around it. It really does open up your eyes to how important rain truly is! I think us gardeners all struggle from time to time, and it makes our successes that much sweeter. Thanks Jami, hope your garden is growing well 🙂

  • Bernadyn
    August 2, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    These are awesome tips, thanks! I had a garden last year (a small one), but then we moved and I never planted another one. I’d love to start gardening again. Definitely some of those vegetables you put here like carrots and squash. Pinned this to my garden board!

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 3, 2016 at 3:18 pm

      Always happy to share my experiences with fellow gardeners! It’s so exciting planning out a new garden. I hope you enjoy some more crops at your new home! Keep me updated if you decide to start one Bernadyn. I’d love to follow along 🙂 Thanks for pinning & enjoy the rest of the summer!

  • candy
    August 2, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    I love my garden and all the wonderful veggies we eat and put up for later consumption. As fall arrives I am ready to slow down and put it to bed. Wonderful tips to go by. Come on fall, I need a break.

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 3, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      I can completely understand that feeling Candy! It is nice to have a bit of a break. Winter is my down time, just a few houseplants and some herbs. 🙂

  • Sarah
    August 2, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    I love my garden but it gets neglected often due to me being so busy with work. The fall is my favourite time of year! 🙂

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 3, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      Yes, balancing work with gardening can definitely be a challenge! I agree Sarah, love those crisp fall days 🙂

  • Paula Niziolek
    August 2, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Awww….I know your resident Chipmunk is a menace, but he sure is cute. We bought a moved in to a new place in early July so I didn’t get a garden planted this year. I’m planning for next year but your post today made me realize that I have plenty of time to get some fall crops in. I don’t have my garden space ready yet but am a big fan of cottage style gardens so I think I’ll plant a few things right in my flower borders!

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 8, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      Yes, he certainly is Paula! I can’t stay mad for long 🙂 Right now is the perfect time for fall crops! Congratulations on the new place and happy gardening!

  • Happy Coconuts Travel Blog
    August 2, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    I love your site, it’s so cute and charming. Great post, easy read, thanks for sharing!

  • Lloyd Phillips
    August 2, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Oh dear, you have raccoons who dig, I have a naughty border collie who likes to do the same. I found out the neighbour was trying to feed him pigs ears which they had bought in a pack for their dog and decided to share without asking me. My dog doesn’t like them and so decided he would bury them around my veggie plot in the garden, destroying all my Capsicum plants.
    Good luck with your garden, I’ve enjoyed the read.

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 8, 2016 at 4:15 pm

      I love border collies! I’m actually hoping to own one someday 🙂 Oh no! It’s really the worst when animals dig in the garden. I just had a skunk dig up my bulbs last night! So frustrating!

  • Charlotte
    August 2, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    We have ankle height electric wire around our garden to help deter critters. Not being able to water would be very depressing and a huge investment loss

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 8, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      I may have to move to electric wire one day if all this activity keeps up! It really is. I’m trying my best to stay positive and spot water as much as possible.

  • Villroses hage
    August 2, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Uh, oh! Yes, it is frustrating for a gardener with all these uninvited “guests”…
    I am frustrated in early summer, by all the critters who love rose leaves and buds jut as much as I do, and now the different fungus illnesses to attack!. Still, we have to live with it, and enjoy the beauty of the rest.
    But, I tell you, no one shall fest on my bush beans!!

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 8, 2016 at 4:18 pm

      Last year I had a gopher eat TWO new rose bushes. I was very sad and mourned their loss. I also hate it when powdery mildew hits late in the season. I agree, we must just do our best and remember to enjoy what we do have.

  • Kay L. Davies
    August 2, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    I sure can sympathize with your critter problems. In southern Alberta we have a little critter we call a gopher, but its actual name is Richardson’s Ground Squirrel. We’ve lived here for 15 years and never had a problem with them until this year. There are holes all over the back yard. I wouldn’t mind, in fact I’d have fun watching them, but our dear old dog is blind and I’m afraid she’ll break a leg in one of those holes. On the other hand, I can’t bring myself to stick the garden hose down the holes as a neighbour suggested.

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 8, 2016 at 6:02 pm

      I know what you mean! Holes in the yard is the worst! I have animals that make them all over the place & I almost trip daily! Poor doggy! Such a struggle it can be!

  • daisy
    August 2, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    It can be so discouraging when things get eaten, or don’t do well because of the weather. As my garden coach Lynn says, “Just throw more seed at it!” It’s bound to work out one time or another.

    You are blessed to be able to harvest in the summer months. I wish you continued success with your fall plantings.
    Thanks for stopping by The Maple Hill Hop this week!

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 8, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      I completely agree! Thank you so much Daisy 🙂 Always a pleasure linking up!

  • Rachel Kaly
    August 2, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    You are so on top of your gardening game! I wish I was this organized with mine!! Someday I will get there! All of my plants took awhile to get going this year for some reason so I haven’t even gotten my first harvest yet, but my veggies are almost ready for picking! Maybe the hot Tennessee weather is messing me up. Great post with lots of info!

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 8, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      Thank you Rachel! I do my best, but it isn’t always easy. I had some veggies that were slow to take off as well. I think it’s been the strange weather we’ve been dealing with! Hope you get some good harvests 🙂

  • Christine @ The (mostly) Simple Life
    August 3, 2016 at 11:36 am

    We’re getting a lot from our garden right now. Still waiting for the tomatoes to turn red and I think there are some pest issues, so we’ll see what happens.

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 8, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      Hope you get to enjoy lots of yummy tomatoes soon Christine!

  • Jenine
    August 3, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Great post. New to all this so happy to learn whatever I can. Thanks for sharing.

  • Brittany
    August 3, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Oh, I can relate to the chipmunk issues! I had one in my garden in the early summer. He would wait for my strawberries to turn red and then he would snatch them up!! I would find the green tops left laying just outside the garden. But luckily, once the strawberries were done, he left as well!

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 8, 2016 at 6:09 pm

      Yes, I’ve had to deal with that as well! So frustrating!!

  • Lainey Robinson
    August 3, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    I usually say plants come to my house to die. But you have given me the encouragement to try and start my first garden. Thank you!!!

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 8, 2016 at 6:21 pm

      I’m really glad to hear that Lainey! Never stop trying 🙂

  • Pondside
    August 4, 2016 at 12:42 am

    We are still in the process of fencing against the deer in a part of town that never previously had a deer problem. We also have raccoons and rabbits. I have had no luck with my tomatoes this year – they have succumbed to some sort of rot, turning black on the bottom as they mature. Not one has survived to ripen – very disappointing! I loved your little video!

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 8, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      I haven’t had trouble with deer yet, but I’m familiar with raccoons and rabbits! Rot has taken out my tomatoes in years past as well. I’m so sorry about that. There’s always next year though! Thank you 🙂

  • Eileen
    August 4, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Cute video of the Chipper. I know they are bad critters but they are so darn cute. Your plants are beautiful!

  • Nikki Gwin
    August 4, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    We have tons of chipmunks in our yard, but so far, knock on wood, they have not eaten my garden! Very cute video.
    🙂 gwingal

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 8, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      I’m happy to hear that Nikki! Thank you 🙂

  • Colleen C
    August 5, 2016 at 8:58 am

    I LOVE this post! Like you wouldn’t believe! I love trying to garden but do not have any resemblance of a green thumb. But these tips, and photos, and your stories give me hope that this year might be different! I’ll be sharing this on my FB blog page! xoxoxo

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 8, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      I haven’t had trouble with deer yet, but I’m familiar with raccoons and rabbits! Rot has taken out my tomatoes in years past as well. I’m so sorry about that. There’s always next year though! Thank you 🙂

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 8, 2016 at 7:08 pm

      Thank you Colleen! You won’t regret trying. Start slow & you’ll be amazed at what you can grow! 🙂

  • Pam Richardson
    August 5, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    I really enjoyed this very informative post! I live in NE AL, and it has been incredibly dry. We are constantly using the sprinklers and watering by hand! It is a little disheartening, but we press on, Our beloved cat was excellent with keeping down the chipmunk population, but he passed away in March. We also have armadillos which dig horrible holes looking for grubs. Those are a few of my gardening woes for the summer! Happy gardening, Pam @ Everyday Living

    • Thefreckledrose
      August 8, 2016 at 7:13 pm

      Thank you Pam! Dry, hot weather can really do a number on a healthy garden. So sorry about your cat. Apparently they feel very safe in my yard! Armadillos? Wow, living in New England that sounds so cool(but probably not fun in reality) No armadillos here, just fat raccoons looking for anything and everything!

  • Michelle Marine
    August 5, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Hot summer garden blahs are so real! I’m sorry to read about your struggles in the garden. I’ve also had my share. Cucumber beetles destroyed my cucumbers, as always. And I didn’t get a single green zucchini. I think I must have had vine borer this year. It’s so disheartening like you say. The good news is I have a really nice weed free area that grew my potatoes and I am really going to make the fall garden happen this year. 🙂

  • Ramblingwoods
    August 5, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Oh gee … We are in severe drought but there are no water restrictions. I feel so badly for you. There are all the your critters and geese and ducks who eat some of what is planted so I am not even going to try veg which would have to be grown in the front yard which I am sure no body would like…

  • Michelle
    August 7, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Ugh, I know what you mean with all of this. My garden has not done all that well this Spring. I’ll try again for Fall with some of the crops. That’s such a cute video of the chipmunk!

  • Nancy Andres
    August 8, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Thanks Angie, both for your honesty and information! You’re right about people don’t show or talk about what went wrong. I pinned your post, and am visiting from Share the Wealth Sunday. Look for mine there too. Nancy Andres @ http://www.colors4health.com

  • Nancy Wolff
    August 8, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Love this post! Thank you for sharing it Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop! As one of the co-hosts I will be featuring your post this week! Look forward to seeing what you post this week!
    – Nancy ( Nancy On The Home Front )

  • Crystal Green
    August 8, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    This is a bit of fun information to learn. I do not have a green thumb at all!

  • Lisa @ LTTL
    August 9, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    We had drought, and now we are having rain, rain, and more rain mixed with hail and winds. So, we gave up on our flowerbeds this year. There is always next year. 😀

    Hope you have a great fall season and harvest

    Lisa @ LTTL