Barbara Damrosch rightly points out that not only is this a good time of year (for us Northerners, at least) to be thinking about what to plant in the vegetable garden next year, but it’s also a good time to think about that garden on a more FUNdamental level:
If your vegetable garden isn’t fun anymore, this is a good time to ask why it’s not . . . . A garden that becomes a burden is easy to avoid, so that by fall it’s a disaster you can’t face at all. Instead of promising yourself to do better next year, see if you can figure out just what makes that spring-planted Eden slide downhill. Use the tranquil dormant period we’re in now to make a new plan. Not somebody else’s plan. Yours.
The rest of her column is an aid to thoughtful analysis of the garden that was, and recommendations on how to bring it closer to the garden you want. As with many other aspects of life, the first step is to figure out what it is that you really want. I mean, if you grow tomatoes because your Dad always did, but what you actually enjoy most is fresh peas and sweet corn, well, maybe you’ve been wasting your time growing tomatoes. Pretty obvious, yes, but sometimes we can’t see what’s right in front of our face until someone points it out to us.