Begonia boxes, 8/17/12The first yellow leaves of fallSunrise this morning was at 5:56 and the sun will set at 9:50 for 15 hours 55 minutes of daylight. It is now getting quite dark at night, though we still do not have astronomical night. It won’t be long, though. Already the first leaves are turning, and it gets above 70°F only on the warmest days.

August is usually our rainiest month, but not this year. We’ve only had a quarter inch so far, and the rainiest day, Thursday, had only .12 inch. July was a little drier than average, but not to the same extent as August so far. I’ve been watering the lawn and garden – I have a well, so most of the water goes right back to the well. We even have smoke in the air — apparently there is a small forest fire, lit by lightning last spring and smoldering since,  that has flared up not that far from Fairbanks. Our fire season is normally in spring!

The zucchini is happy, and I took half a dozen to the food bank last week and still have all I can eat. I finally got caught up with the beans, and need to pick the snow peas. The beets are thriving in the holes in the cement blocks that make up the raised beds, and I’m having a beet and its greens for supper almost every night.

beets in cement blocks

The beet on the right was pulled for Saturday’s supper–they were crowding each other.

Flowers? The perennials are about through for the season and setting seed. I still have some columbine blooming, and some annuals, but the annuals I planted around the raised beds have mostly been shaded out by the vegetables. For a change the lobelia have just about taken over the planter boxes with the begonias. Usually I’m lucky if one or two survive.

I’m starting to watch the weather pretty closely for frost warnings. Not right away – the extended forecast has lows in the 40’s. But August has certainly been known to produce frosts in the past, and I want to be prepared to drape plastic over the hoops on the raised beds if needed. I should get another two to three weeks of growing season, even if the trees are starting to show yellow branches, and the first fallen leaves are littering the lawn.