Saturday, July 25, 2009

Garden in July - the misses

As always, a garden has certain wild card elements. Some in my control, some out of my control. This year is no different.

Here are some of the issues I've faced this season:

1) Compost heap: I had a dream. A dream of compost piles in the back corner of the yard. No tumbler, just heaps. And then the ugly rodent situation reared its ugly little head again, and I ditched that idea. Not ditched it, but put it on hold until I can get a tumbler.

2) Rain barrels: After getting all excited because our water reclamation center was selling them, I didn't buy 'em. A friend said he had old clean barrels I could have, and then we didn't hang out for awhile, kind of forgot, and then each time it rained I just got pissed as I remembered I wanted rain barrels.

3) Cauliflower: There was some mildewy yuk on the heads when they started to come up, and after cutting it back and waiting for new heads to come up, they didn't really co me up. I pulled it up to clear space for peppers (see #6)

4) Broccolini and Broccoli Raab: Neither grew well. Spindly and didn't really look "right" - a real shame as my grocery store no longer carries broccolini and we miss it. Horribly.

5) Supports: So I thought that the metal square cages - you know the ones? They can fold flat, but they can be put like a long fence, or folded into squares around plants? Anyway, thought I was all slick, used those along the back of my boxes to support tomatoes. How do I have the selective memory that allows me to forget HOW DAMN HEAVY tomatoes get??? Every year I forget. Anyway, they were obviously not strong enough to support my plants and I had to modify my plans and rig something up. Ghetto, but functional. See upcoming "HITS" post to see the pics. Maybe it should be in "MISSES" - you be the judge!

6) Zucchini takes up a LOT of space. As does watermelon. And butternut squash. And if you think you can shove a bunch of any of these in a 4x4 box, and try to slip something else in there...just don't. I had peppers planted in the back box with a variety of HUGE things, and ended up transplanting them to other boxes. They weren't really thriving where they were (I had them in a couple boxes) and they seem to have perked up a bit since being transplanted.

7) I guess my strawberries were mostly June-bearing. What a gyp. Great for those few weeks, and now we're strawberry-less. Sigh. Will have to remedy that next year. Also, my beautiful strawberry pyramid that I fashioned out of spare wood in the garage rafters? Yeah. Almost entirely dug into by THAT DANG DOG. In fairness, it was in her fervored pursuit of the rodents mentioned above, so I had a hard time being too angry. But it still sucked.

8) Square foot gardening is both boon and bane. Love it in so many ways. However, was lulled into thinking that with the landscape fabric underneath, there would be minimal weeding. DUH except for the ones that come from airborne sources. Or sneak over from the lawn. DUH, Amy.

9) I need to get things in order. As usual, I let things go, and have great ideas on paper at the beginning of the season, and then...well, life happens and I have half finished projects all over the place and that happened in the garden, too. I put in a brick pathway between two of the front boxes. Um...I am not good at this. I am going to get a pretty wood sign to put over it that reads "Ankle Breaker" in another language. It's a bit uneven, and not super great, but I am still proud of it. Ish.

Stay tuned for the "Hits"...


Anonymous said...

It actually isn't bad at all. Certainly a better job with the bricks than I could've managed.

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