Sunday, August 17, 2014

the neglected garden.

I'm sad to say, our garden was a bit of a bust this year. We planted tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, peppers, onions, cucumbers, sunflowers and nasturtiums. Pretty good lineup, right?

The tomatoes have been a let down...three out of six plants are still producing, but barely. Two plants (the heirlooms, it's always the heirlooms) produced a handful of tomatoes then shut down production. And I don't know why. Maybe it was the gargantuan tomato worms that were having an all-you-can-eat buffet before I could catch them and turn them into chicken food? Or maybe it was just a bad season. Either way, I got two Black Krim and three Green Zebra tomatoes this summer. Our Early Girl and Better Boy and, of course, the Sweet 100 are still producing, albeit begrudgingly. I'll take what I can get.

Zucchini never disappoints. The plants were big and lush and healthy...we harvested lots of yummy zucchini...I have no complaints. I think zucchini is an ego almost can't go wrong when growing zucchini. Soil, sun, water. Bam. More zucchini than you know what to do with.

The green beans produced quite a few plump, tasty green beans but soon became infested with white flies. And I didn't do anything about the white flies so they spread to the zucchini plants. But only on the side near the green beans. The other side still looks quite healthy...and they're still producing zucchini, although I think it's time to pull the plants and make room for something to grow in winter. (Still undecided on that.)

Our peppers sucked this season. Period. I think we harvested a dozen jalapenos from TWO PLANTS. And our New Mexico peppers haven't done squat. (I'm not bitter.)

The onions didn't do diddly either. I don't know why. We planted onions a couple of years ago and were pleasantly surprised. We stuck them in the ground without much care, treating them as an experiment, really...and lo and behold they did great! As a matter of fact, I'd wished I'd planted more. So this year we decided to try them again since they were so "easy and carefree". Uhh, right. They didn't do a dang thing. The greens never perked up. I don't even think the onions grew. It could be the location? Not enough sun, maybe? Or...the soil? But we amended it a I wouldn't think that was the problem. I don't know. All I do know is that we harvested zero onions.

We planted two cucumber plants. And we harvested two cucumbers. Two. All summer. That's it.

The sunflowers did well...and they're a beautiful addition to the garden and make me smile whenever I see them. So I will count those a success. Because if I don't, I may never garden again.

And the nasturtiums? Meh. I plant them every year because they're good for the soil, they attract pollinators, and they add color and fun to the garden. Not to mention, they make me happy. But this year they didn't come through. I think maybe three or four plants came up (and I planted a lot of seeds!) and we got maybe 5 blooms. Really? Boo.

So there you have it. This year's sad garden tale. And because it's been a let down, it's not getting a lot of love lately. Quite frankly, it's pretty much neglected. Part of that is disappointment in its performance. And part of that is being back at work. I just don't have the time that I do over the summer.

But even still, come next spring, we will prepare to plant a garden. I will read seed catalogs and plan space and layout and bring Chris refreshing iced tea as he tills and amends the soil. We will go to the garden center and buy seedlings, probably too many, because we will be excited and get carried away. We will place it all in the ground with loving care and high hopes. And hopefully, I will have a happier tale to tell next summer.


Tracey ~ Clover said...

Our garden didn't produce as much as it usually does, this weather has just be so crazy.
We had rain for almost two weeks straight, now the heat has returned and I still haven't done anything for a fall garden, sigh. My fingers are crossed for a little gardening this weekend, I just can't do it in 100 degree temps!

Denise said...

my garden is doing the exact opposite of yours but I have been in your shoes! I think it is a cycle like every 4 years or so the garden just doesn't produce.

i planted 3 new things in my garden over the weekend - lettuce, romaine and kale