All good things must come to an end though and if you look a little closer at the summer garden you will find evidence of old and tired foliage creeping in around the edges. There will be gaps across the garden where something delicious once grew and has long been eaten and enjoyed. The beans, once relished as a fresh and delightful addition to the family meal are now boring and completely taken for granted while many still cling to the plant forlornly getting stringier by the day. The ground will be a shadow of its former rich and light self as months of lying beneath baking hot sun would have hardened the soil and the crops will have depleted the nutrients.
The downward turn towards the autumn has begun, whether we are prepared to admit it or not. Now, as with the beginning of the summer growing season whose early roots begin in the late stages of winter, so it is the same for the winter crops. In this late stage of summer is the perfect time to begin to think about the winter if you want to continue the joy of growing food over the cooler months.
Not everyone thinks about winter gardening and the focus is on making the warm season garden last as long as possible before the plants are killed by cold weather and frost, the tools are put away for the season and the last vestiges of the garden are either cleared away or left to their own devices. By then any hope of a winter garden will have long since gone out of the window of opportunity that only remains open for a brief period in late summer and early autumn.