As the weather takes a decline here in the Pacific Northwest, it's easy to get caught up in the feeling of the crappy, dreary weather and become somewhat cabin fevered. The days get shorter, temperatures cooler, and the precipitation is set to a constant drizzle. The two months of beautiful Summer Seattle bliss results in forgetting that rain is just water and that it won't hurt to get some on your head.
I go through this every year. But, after a couple weeks in hiding and denial that summer is over, the changing leaves help me appreciate how beautiful fall can be around here and I muster up the energy to go outside. The fall and winter clothes replace the summer ones and I bundle up a little too much in anticipation for the chill as I step outside. (But really, it's not that cold yet.)
Summer gardening is awesome. It's a great reason so soak up the Vitamin D and grow delicious food in the abundant sun that we (usually) get here. (People don't believe that, for some reason.) But fall offers some great opportunities to get outside, and who are we to deny these offerings because of a little rain and cooler temperatures?
The first thing everyone should do in the fall when the days start getting short is plant garlic. I've heard that you plant garlic on the shortest day of the year and harvest it on the longest, but I don't know about the actual validity in that. Naturally, I don't follow rules so I planted some last week, assuming that as long as it's planted in the fall it'll be happy. I got a head from the farmer's market, divided up the cloves (ten cloves total) and planted them in unfertilized soil. I also read that you fertilize them in the early spring. The act of turning the soil in that small patch, coming in contact with some wriggly worms, and watching the cloves disappear under the magical brown stuff was awesomely therapeutic after being inside in front of my laptop for the last several weeks.
The last of the tomatoes on the vine are also going into the greenhouse to turn their bashful orange blush into a full outright red. It's working surprisingly well. (And you already know what we do with the green ones.)
A fair amount of weeding and reseeding of the lawn happened in Sunday in the nice fall sun and our front yard looks better than it has all summer. If it was up to me, I would just tear the stupid lawn out and replace it with a bunch of native plants and stuff, but since this is a rental, I have to keep the landlord happy and maintain it.
So there you go. Fall is not to be feared. It should be embraced and each day that it doesn't rain taken advantage of. We've got a long winter of cold and wet ahead of us, so go play outside while you still can!