Autumn officially starts in late September, at a very specific time and date. But I find, most years, the change is it’s own small season. We had a very chilly, snappy couple of days in mid-September, and just squeaked by in the frost department. Then a few warmer, and damper weeks followed, and it was easy to forget that the seasons were switching out on us, even though it was getting steadily cooler. But even though a lot of other things were going on, I had a nagging feeling of impending change–We had a forecast of below 32 degrees F, so I spent an afternoon harvesting winter squash, pumpkins and gourds–a very good move as it turned out.
All of a sudden (not really–but I wasn’t paying enough attention), we got it–cold, frost, and lots of dead plants–all in just one night. I foolishly assumed we were in for a little nip, but it turned out to be a very big nip indeed. The first few (usually light) frosts generally spare the container plants near the house, but not this time (mostly because it was not “light”). I woke early and hopped right out that morning, to find a lot of ice-rimed plants.
I hosed them down, and that did seem to help–the sun had not yet risen. But then the very next day we started a major warming trend that has us with windows open even into the evening, and it has been downright hot during the day–very strange weather for downeast Maine. So my poor plants, both in the vegetable garden, and the containers, are really confused–and look it. Even the poor individuals that managed to survive the frost are looking very bedraggled in the heat–I guess it’s all in what you become used to, and they were definitely used to a cooling trend. I don’t particularly like unexpected changes, I don’t think many of us do—and it is very certain plants are with us us in this department!