Friday, September 2, 2011


I love having a garden, picking lettuce for our dinner salads, having a lovely array of herbs outside my kitchen door, tomatoes right off the vine for a snack.

But, I've made mistakes as all gardeners do, particularly first time gardeners.

Zucchini is said to be the easiest veggie to grow. Anyone can grow it. Except for me. The soil where I planted it is the one spot in the garden that didn't get the royal treatment. I tilled and cleaned it all up, removing rocks and weeds. But since it was a month or so after I had done the initial garden, I didn't bother with the amending and compost additions. Big mistake. I fear we'll see no zucchini. We have flowers but nothing more. Well, at least the flowers are pretty.

I dug for a few potatoes last week. I found two. They were the size of a quarter and I'm being generous. They were the ones I did in a big container. I mounded up the dirt as they grew all the way to the top. Then, the greens kept growing and growing taller but not quite filling out. Potatoes aren't for container gardening. I know, big surprise, right. I didn't come up with the idea on my own. I read about it and thought it was worth a try. I guess it's better to use something bigger than a giant pot... something like, say, a garbage can (that's what the book recommended but I didn't have an empty garbage can on hand --- the big pot was sitting there --- so I used it). Lesson learned. The ones in the garden plot might still work. I'm a little nervous to go digging about because those greens also look a little thin and sickly. I'm gonna wait just a little longer.
I'm not looking for a harvest like this...

but just a few like this... 

... would make me really happy!

The tomatoes are growing and it's the one garden staple that I've grown successfully before.
They will be successful.
Sadly, my over researching led to over thinning & trimming. I'd read that if you trim back your tomato plants as the fruit comes on, trimming the branches that don't have fruit, it makes all the plant energy go to the fruit rather than being wasted on branches. Thus, ensuring plumper, healthier fruit. It makes since. As is my nature, I sort of overdid it. Which means I'm left with straggly looking tomato plants full of fruit but the plants don't seem sturdy enough to hold up their own branches. I've had to tie many of them to their cage with yarn. Next time, I'll keep my trimming under control. Not to worry, we are eating lots of tomatoes, I just won't be canning them, which is actually totally fine with me.

Several months ago, this...

 seemed like a great idea. 
At the moment, canning tomatoes isn't such a high priority.

The broccoli and cauliflower never materialized. Apparently, they are favorites of the raccoons and squirrels. So after their initial attack, I decided these veggies would be the sacrificial lambs, so to speak, of the garden. I even tossed in some extra broccoli seeds that were rudely dug up as soon as they sprouted. That entire garden patch was a loss... including the beets. Well, I did get a few little beets but nothing that amounted to a meal or a side dish.

In gardening and in life, there's always next year!


  1. Very True!... my next post will be about our awesome successes! Hops will be included.


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