Welcome to Autumn! It’s the most wonderfulest of seasons, this disappointing reminder notwithstanding. (Color-rich friends and family, spam us with photos! Please, and thank you.)
Here, a strange bright ball in the sky made quick work of burning off the morning’s dense veil of fog. Following what felt like 40 days and 40 nights of grey, sodden mess, the sun seems foreign, its intensity causing me to walk even indoors with squinted eyes.
The cats, who spent the last week huddled under the safety of the dining room table as cracks and flashes and gales raged outside, emerged to chase patches of sunlight on the floor with a rare enthusiasm usually reserved for food bowl replenishments. Us humans, on the other hand (paw?), are excited that afternoon art fair plans aren’t spoiled; less so at the prospect of tending an overly watered yard.
Most disappointingly, adding insult to injury, my garden suffered a potentially permanent demise. Suspicions of foul-play were unearthed with the five okra plants whose crude “replanting” (shockingly) didn’t take. The helpful folks at the NC Cooperative Extension confirmed my careful post-mortem hypothesis that I involuntarily relinquished control of the garden to root-knot nematodes: “[M]icroscopic roundworms that… injure plants by feeding on root cells… to the point where the plant cannot properly absorb water and nutrients.” A fatal blow.
And so this weekend’s raised bed tasks: 1) harvest the remaining eggplants, bell peppers, onions and herbs; 2) remove and dispose of the plants + their infested root systems; 3) burn the brush cuttings inside the bed’s walls (along with, hopefully, millions of the nasty perpetrators); 4) scour the internet for rapeseed seeds to sow as a “restorative cover crop”; 5) snivel and blubber about the fact that even if I find rapeseed then let the garden lay fallow for a year after tilling in its six-month cover that I probably can’t successfully plant anything until 2018. HA-rumph. Time to stock up on potters, I suppose.