From Mélie’s Garden
It is always so sad to see the summer come to an end, but often Fishers Island gardens continue to thrive until late October or early November. The warmed waters around the Island keep it temperate well into the fall before a killing frost. Quite the opposite to the spring, when the water takes a long time to warm up and the cold winds blow, delaying many plants’ growth until May. However, it is still a good time to clean up flower beds while it is pleasant to work outside.
The vegetable garden is usually the first to get my clean up attention. I pull up anything that has finished producing like zucchini, cucumbers, and some early tomatoes. I bag up the discarded plants to keep any diseases that might be present from spreading in the soil. Next, I deadhead and cut back perennials – with a good haircut they may continue to bloom a bit until the first frost. I do not touch the Dahlias which are at their most glorious now. They need to go through a good frost and be killed back before their tubers can be dug up, dried, and stored.
I have recently acquired a wonderful new book on garden care “The Well-Tended Perennial Garden – the essential guide to planting and pruning techniques” By Tracy DiSabato-Aust. I have found it particularly useful about how and when to prune perennials in order to keep their shape and encourage bloom. You can easily order the book on Amazon.
This fall, as a Harvest celebration, there is going to be a party in the new Community Garden next to the American Legion on Columbus Day weekend. It will be held on Sunday, October 9th. with beer, wine and cider served along with hors d’oeuvres and petit sweets created by Lily Starbuck. $50.00 per person and all the proceeds will go to the garden allowing them to invest in tools, irrigation, and programming. The garden has been very successful this year with sixteen Fishers Islanders having personal planters and five additional planters that are maintained by eight volunteers and produce food for the community.
The sign on the gate reads:
“The garden is here to provide space for people to grow healthy produce; to share knowledge and love of the outdoors, to gather and enjoy the benefits of nature. The garden is also meant to serve as a haven and place of provision for anyone in need.”
Do come and celebrate the good garden work that has been done for the community and the pleasure we all have had in our own gardens this growing season.