Second Chances ~ Planning the Late Harvest

I live in the mid-Atlantic, a region blessed with a long growing season.  It is high summer here.  Hot days and abundant sunlight drew the first round of life from the dark earth.  Afternoon thunderstorms watered tender, twining greens.  The spring seeds grew and flourished, and the first harvest has now been gathered: radishes, peas, beets, lettuce, garlic, beans, squash, herbs, onions, and more.

Freshly bare sections in the garden call out for planting. The heat of August is coming, but after that we know the downward slope is in view.  It is time to plan for the fall harvest.

Every season in the garden, I learn something new.  I watch which plants thrive and which ones do not.  I figure out which green friends need staking or constant supervision, which ones are more prone to pests, which ones need deeper watering, which varieties perform better, which ones worse, which ones would have done better with an earlier start or a later one.  I take notes and revise my plan.

And now?  The second chance.

What worked?  What didn’t?  What am I planting for fall?

As above, so below.  As within, so without.  The greater pattern is contained in the smaller.

We found ourselves planted in strange soil this spring.  The tendrils we sent up to the sun were hesitant, spindly with fear and confusion.  We slowly navigated growing in this new garden. The soil here is different.  The nutrient balance is different.  Some of us experienced yellowed leaves, wilting, new pests to manage.  Some of us discovered new ways to thrive, new nutrients to focus on.  We adapted, sometimes well, sometimes less so.  Maybe we needed better staking, different light, more compost, more water.

Our first fruits are in.  The second chance has arrived – we can plant now for an abundant fall harvest.  What did we learn?

What worked?  What didn’t?  What am I planting for fall?

Sit with me a moment here and let’s really think about it.


What worked?

Going hiking, expanding my garden, getting into permaculture.  Going back on mood stabilizers, daily meditation, more down time with my beloved partner. A new long range project.

These are mine.  What are yours?


What didn’t?

My diet. How much time I spend on my phone.  Overscheduling myself in relationship to Zoom offerings. Neglecting my daily practice.  Staying over-informed.  

These are mine.  What are yours?


What am I planting for fall?

Now we turn those hard lessons into plans.  How can we plant more of what worked?  How can we work around, support, or transform what didn’t?

I activated the wellness software on my phone and set time limits on the apps I abuse the most.

I am going back to batch-meal cooking where I make a lot of something so there are healthy leftovers readily available.

I am making a point to walk early in the morning and late in the evening, taking advantage of cooler hours when I can. 

I am rededicating time to study rather than doom scrolling the news.

These are mine. What are yours?


Second chances are beautiful.  We finally have the chance to leverage the hard lessons, to start off fresh but informed, to shape and nurture our gardens.  We can fill our pantries for winter and stock up on what we most need.  We can grow our roots deep here.

What worked?  What didn’t?  What are you planting for fall?

Hit me up in the comments.  I’d love to hear how your garden is growing.





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