Fall In Love with Fall
I love all the seasons and always look forward to each of them. Fall is just around the corner even though we still have summer temperatures. Over the last few weeks we have had a few nights in the 50’s and beautiful weather during the day. I know that in a day or two another cool front will arrive and fall will officially be here. I love the fall season for many reasons: the Texas A&M football, my fall decorations and most of all my fall garden. So one of my favorite things to do is to visit my local garden center. Believe it or not, most garden centers are clearing out for Christmas merchandise. That means really good sale prices on many garden necessities and not just the plants. The other day I was shopping at a local store and all the bag items, like soil, mulch, gravel were 75% off. Wow!!! Now that’s a great sale.
I bought 45 bags of potting soil, which was everything left on the pallet. Not the 3 cubic foot bags but small enough to handle easily. After two trips to the store to get all my new potting soil, I could hardly wait to get home and use it. I have a vegetable garden area that was struggling mostly because it needed new soil. And not just dirt but good nutrient rich potting soil. I filled up all my raised bed areas with this wonderful soil. I had several tomatoes plants that were struggling due to heat exhaustion and drought conditions. Remember, I live in central Texas. I also had one lonely summer squash plant left. I decided to just add three to four inches of soil around each plant. They were looking pretty sad and I thought if they lived great, but if not no big deal. Three days later it rained about 3”. A beautiful soaking rain along with the cool front. What perfect timing! So I thought here is the test…will my struggling plants live or die? If they die then adding too much soil was not a good idea. It is never recommended to add soil to plants or trees for fear of smothering the roots, but here, in my vegetable garden the roots were very close to the surface of the dirt, what little dirt there was, had been washed away from watering.
Well this gardening story has a happy ending. All of my existing vegetable plants are not just alive but are thriving. In the last month the tomato plants have doubled in size and are full of blooms. The lone summer squash plant is four times the size it was and is also blooming like crazy. So if you have a vegetable garden that looks hopeless you might think about adding some good soil around the vegetable plants and see if they won’t go through another season. It was a great find, not only did I save about four dollars per bag, but I saved my plants and did not have to buy all new vegetable plants for my fall garden. So go shopping and see what great bargains you can find this time of year and fall in love with fall all over again.