Is Gardening Worth It?

Celebrating Fall and letting go of the garden is a part of the season’s transition. Seeing for yourself a positive balance of rewards to risks makes gardening for flowers, food, and fun worthwhile. Let’s look at the evidence today that held this writer’s interest.

Rudbeckia transplanted in late summer drought have healthy leaves and appear to be overcoming transplant shock. If roots grow, perhaps they will overwinter.

The first season to try nursery-grown sun impatiens in the full hot sun in a container, they gave bold color all season.

Summer direct seed planted nasturtiums are beginning to bloom. Insects that eat their leaves when planted earlier are in decline now. However, a later trailing nasturtium may not have enough time to grow and bloom, as do these ‘Alaska’ nasturtiums.

Shade impatiens have long been a garden staple.  With three trimmings during the season, they maintain proportion, foliage density, and flowers in a window box. 

Four O’clock annuals from direct seeding are closing by mid-morning. A plant that greets you when you visit in the evening or show up early is a treat.

Fall blooming perennials are so welcoming when other plants are in decline. Asters are a favorite of wildlife too, so the chicken wire tent has allowed some blooms.

Dahlia tubers container planted in mid-summer is just reaching bud stage and will likely require indoors to bloom in October. 

Direct seeded Swiss chard in a container on the deck supplies its mild and tender leaves for salads. Positioned in the shade in hot summer and now in the sun, it continues as spinach begins to grow again in cooler temperatures. Cherry tomatoes in containers in full sun on the deck are a staple and out of reach of most wildlife.

Green and wax beans planted as a succession crop in late July are beginning to produce beans! Response to an overnight bean beetle attack in the first planting was to plant more in hopes that the insect would not continue to produce offspring this late in the season. Lowering temperatures will limit the new bean crop duration.

Gardening is more than blooms and produce. Watching how a native grass stem bends in the prairie breeze is as captivating as how a pollinator finds its way to nectar in a snapdragon; wonders of nature for us all. 

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