Autumn is a sad time for the backyard garden: the flowers are mostly spent, beans have gone bust, and any remaining tomatoes drop to the ground, forgotten.
This was a particularly bad year for tomatoes, thanks to the blight. My neighbors at the Rodgers Forge Farm Initiative blogged about it earlier this summer, citing the same NY Times article I'd stumbled upon while searching for an explanation for the withered leaves and sunscorched fruits in my yard. Confirming the blight: only the heirloom tomato plants I purchased were affected. Volunteer cherry tomato plants remained healthy.
Already I'm plotting my seed-starting operation for next spring... but first, I still have a few eggplants to pick, one lonely green pumpkin, and a mess of marigolds to clean up. The UMd home & garden center website has fall garden cleanup tips posted now.
Also thinking about canning some applesauce, since I never found the time to can more than one batch of salsa at a friend's house all summer. Apparently canning is trendy among backyard gardeners and urban homesteaders these days, but I wouldn't have guessed it by the blank looks I got at the supermarket when I asked where to find the canning jars.