For a minute or two I puzzled over the best title for this post. I thought about Crimson and Clover, after the Tommy James tune.
After years of faithfully giving us tomatoes, basil, kale and other nice vegetables, our garden is going on vacation. Despite adding compost, manure and fresh topsoil each spring, it needs a break. This year, we didn’t get much in the way of anything. I can’t blame the weather: it was hot but not as brutal as last year. But 15 years of planting the same things in our modest plot has caught up with us.
While we’ve discussed the idea of giving it a rest in the last few years, Iwed never done it. In spring, the siren call of beets and basil was too strong to resist. But this year, the garden made its needs clear to us.
So I planted red clover, a legume that will restore nitrogen to the soil, back at the end of September. In the spring, I’ll follow with buckwheat, and we’ll see what happens a year from now.
It will be strange to not be going into the garden at 5 PM in August for chard, beets, rosemary or whatever catches my fancy on a summer evening. But in the long run, it will be worth it.