Fall Gardening Follies

by Daisy on 08/25/2015

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I readily confess to mixed success with fall/winter gardening.

In fact, most of my successes have been accidental. One winter we had greens such as lettuce, mache, and spinach practically year-round. Thing is, I’m not quite sure how I did it.

A garden journal would help, surely, but I stink at journaling, garden or otherwise. Yes, this is a weblog, but I don’t chronicle everything I do in the garden, and that’s what you have to do to have a garden journal you can depend on.

I don’t know why I don’t/can’t keep a garden journal. You’d think it would be right up my alley, but I’m a garden journal failure.

So: fall gardening. I’ve seeded several lettuces, collards, mustard greens, and spinach.

The mache usually reseeds itself. I’m counting on you mache. Get to it.

I also planted some radishes.

The garden centers and nurseries are getting pretty good about spring edibles, but they drop the ball in the fall. The edibles shelves are completely empty except for a few herb plants. The most I can hope to find in the way of fall herbs are swiss chard and kale intended for ornamental use, and steeply priced as such. No thanks. Where are the flats of broccoli and cabbage?

If I’d been on the ball I would have planted seeds a few weeks back and have my own flats of fall vegetable seedlings, but I didn’t.

I’m going to keep watering my greens and hope for the best. Maybe by the time I’m eighty I’ll have mastered the art of fall (and spring/summer) gardening, at least within reason. Or maybe I’ll just keep tossing seeds out there willy-nilly and hoping for the best.

I’m convinced there are many types of gardeners, like there are many types of gardens. It’s tied in to personality, background (were you taught to garden from a young age, etc.), and environment. I suppose someone could devise a Garden Personality Test along the lines of the Myers-Briggs.

The Extroverted Gardener would take courses and join garden groups, take tours and learn from interpersonal contact.

Then Introverted Gardener would haunt forums & websites, read books on gardening.

The Thinking and Judging and Observing Gardener would carefully plan out each season, schedule when to start seeds indoors, when to harden off, and when to plant out, when to fertilize and when to pinch back and thin.

The Feeling and Perceiving and Intuitive Gardener would plant when the itch strikes, when gardening is in the air, when she or he just can’t stand NOT planting.

I’m Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving, which may be the worst kind of personality for gardening by some standards. But I have enough passion for gardening to push myself beyond my INFP tendencies to learn enough rules to make a decent go of it.

And what succeeds, by hook or crook, I REALLY love, which makes me get up day after day still excited about it, in spite of my inadequacies.

I’m a hopeless gardener.

What’s your garden type?


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Sallie August 27, 2015 at 4:53 am

INFP/F. I am split on the last letter. Glad to find you. I was told there were not that many of us around. While going through some old paperwork I found yet another INFP under my own roof. My husband!
Back to gardening. I have been thinking of Fall gardening as well. I think the trigger is the cooler temps at night. Start indoors or just put the seeds in…such a tormenting question!!

Deb thomas August 27, 2015 at 5:31 am

I’m a mixture of all of the above, but mostly love to watch plants come up even under very bright room lights in my bedroom in the dead of winter! (I’m in a basement apartment, no land and north by north east facing windows.)

Cinnamon Vogue August 27, 2015 at 8:41 am

My grandma for example had the green touch and all the animals loved her too. Her garden just bloomed, perhaps because she had the time. I always felt gardening also depends on the soil. One house I lived at, had rocks in the garden, which seems to magically appear from the ground, even if I dug 4 feet down and cleared all the rocks. Some plants would grow better in some areas of the garden. It is a bit of art, bit of science and lot heart this gardening business. And grandma had all of those qualities come to think about it.

Ana August 27, 2015 at 8:52 am

Well I would be all of the above. I planted radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, carrots, cilantro,basil, oregano, pole beans and ginger. I got 2 radishes, no carrots, tomatoes or cilantro. The cucumber vines were crazy and I thought, wow I am going to have so many cukes I will have to learn how to make pickles. I only got 5 cukes out of the whole mess of vines. The tomatoes and beans were mostly eaten by deers and squirrels and the peppers did so so. The basil did well as did the oregano. No cilantro (can’t even remember where it was planted) and the ginger was another one that I can’t locate. Right now in Florida it is hot and humid and I see my tomato plants came back and are pretty full. I wonder if I will get anything out of them or if I should just rip them out?The best luck I had was throwing a bunch of sweet potatoes in a compost pile that I had started and one day months later I thought, gee I should turn the dirt and discovered about 30 sweet potatoes. To say I was shocked was an understatement. They were sweet and delicious. I shared them with my neighbors who raved about them. Maybe, I should try the same technique for the rest of my garden.

Barbara August 27, 2015 at 10:16 am

LOL…..I can soooooo relate! And Ana….I’ve done the exact same things…..only to find the compost heap has far more edibles growing in it than my garden!!! Thankfully, hub is a landscaper and an excellent gardener or we would starve!! Daisy, thank you for your raw – albeit humorous- honesty……especially for those of us who stink at gardening. You make us laugh and it seems not as bad….. Who knows, maybe it’s not quite so hopeless after all???? Are there INFP support groups out there?

Bobbie August 27, 2015 at 11:32 am

Well…someone finally defined it and hit the nail, right on the ol head! I too am an INFP…hangs head in shame…ok, not really. I tend to go at it gung ho in the spring, and think about it gung ho in the Fall. Eventually, I too will have a Fall garden…or continue to just hit up the farmers at the weekly farmer’s market!

Mark August 27, 2015 at 9:54 pm

I believe nature is the gardener, and that we just have an ongoing tussle with nature about what WE think should grow. And just like children that start out going head to head with Mum and Dad, we learn and find strategies to get what we want (which is not always what we need). Perhaps Myers-Briggs is an appropriate instrument after all!

Daisy August 28, 2015 at 8:08 am

Mark–Very perceptive. I hope nature agrees that I need a gallon of blueberries every week year round, but so far no joy. Adjusting.

Daisy August 28, 2015 at 8:14 am

Bobbie–Yes, you will have an awesome fall garden! Maybe accidentally, but it will happen! Hope!

Daisy August 28, 2015 at 8:17 am

Barbara–Thank you, Barbara! I think an INFP support group would be hilarious. Half the time we’d forget to go, the other half of the time we’d ditch because we were too busy wandering around our gardens.

Daisy August 28, 2015 at 8:18 am

Ana–Jealous of your sweet potatoes. Next year!

Daisy August 28, 2015 at 8:27 am

CV–So true, without the right soil it’s nearly impossible to succeed in gardening. (Unless you’re growing rocks, which is what it sounds like you were inadvertently doing in one location!) Grandmas are good at everything, and great-grandmas–fuggetaboutit!

Daisy August 28, 2015 at 8:28 am

Deb Thomas–You sound very determined to grow things. I admire that very much.

Daisy August 28, 2015 at 8:30 am

Sallie–Well, that’s interesting. Not too surprising. We find each other occasionally.
I think at this point I’m just going to sow outside.

Christy August 28, 2015 at 9:15 pm

Oh this is such perfect timing to read this post. Thank you for putting into words what I have felt…I’m new to gardening and was beginning to feel like I’m really missing something or just don’t have a green thumb at all after just barely scratching the surface. Well. I’m an ENFJ/P so I’m just a mess when it comes to starting a garden. Totally determined but chaotic in my attempts…and learning from watching and doing along side others is the most helpful but I just have to keep trying. I’m so thankful to read all the other comments, too, and know that it’s just part of the process. 🙂

Daisy August 30, 2015 at 6:38 am

Christy–It is the process! Take heart!

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