Thursday, July 15, 2010

Garden update

If you are looking for an update with lots of pretty pictures of beautiful produce, this is not the update for you. If however you've been struggling with your garden this year and want to feel better, keep reading. I almost named this post I hate my garden.

Hopefully TEOTWAWKI won't happen anytime soon or my family will starve!

Strawberries - all eaten by the birds before they got ripe, plants are now totally overtaken with grass. I can't even find the plants anymore. I'm not sure what I'm going to do, either til them all under or take the time to separate each plant from the grass.

Peas - got a handful before the plants died due to heat

Tomatoes - had a ton of green tomatoes, the chickens ate them all before they could ripen

Green beans - harvested enough for 3 dinners, the grasshoppers have now eaten all the leaves, planted more seeds about a month ago, none germinated or were eaten as soon as they did

Brocolli - never got any heads

Potatoes - never grew

Corn - improvement from last year. Last year the plants only got waist high and I never got any ears. This year the plants got head high and I got ears! However, this is how they all look:

I guess I didn't get good fertilization.

Sweet potatoes
- hanging in there, I'm hopeful for a good harvest

- still hasn't germinated, but it's only been a week since I planted them

- the one thing that is doing really good, won't be ready to harvest for at least another year

- doing great! Although even they are starting to die from lack of rain

I spent a couple of weeks wallowing in self pity (it's how I work). Now I'm ready to cowgirl up and make it work. I think I'm going to build 4 or 5 more raised beds, they seem to do the best here. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


Callie said...

You're doing better than I am. I didn't even get that far. But you give me hope. I'll keep working at getting the beds built and filled with soil. Maybe next year I'll have a garden?

linda m said...

Sorry to hear about your garden. I know how hard you have tried. Maybe the raised beds are the way to go. Sure wish I could send you some of our rain; we have had an overabundance of it this year. Mosquitos are bigger than the hummingbirds and are biting 24 hours a day. I have trouble growing things in certain gardens here and I am beginning to think it is the soil. I should get the soil tested because I really think it is lacking in something or has too much of something. Anyway, good luck with your gardening!

Leslie said...

I hear from more and more people that raised beds are the way to go. An old friend of mine from high school just posted about his garden this year and he used raised beds and top soil and black cow. I've seen the EASY gardens in Mother EArth, for those you just buy the bag of dirt and open up the top and plant directly in the bag. Don't get discouraged, although I understand when you work so hard at something it would be nice to get the results you want. You are still learning what works on your land, you will figure it out!! My garden is growing and I'm getting enough for us, but no extra!! I'm so looking forward to the day that I finally get my soil right and my garden is as pretty as when I used to use Miracle Gro and 10-10-10!!!

polly's path said...

I think you've got it. Raised beds, or prepare the garden by covering everything with weed cloth or several layers of paper, then deep mulch.
Our saving grace has been the paper/mulch method, and I have had to water every night except on the days when we were fortunate to get rain.
Have you had your soil tested?
You can purchase lime from Tractor supply and mulch it in, also those goat berries I am sure you have around.
One thing we've learned is that our garden has gotten better each year as we add our compost to it, lime, goat berries, and that hay we scoop from the floor of the hen house. Just this year we have tilled it about 3 times. Don't give up.

Wendy said...

That's rough. I'm so sorry your garden isn't doing well.

I'll put in another vote for raised beds.

In addition, maybe you might want to experiment with growing earlier or later in the year. I lived in Georgia and Alabama a long time ago, and we never had a garden, but what I do remember is that we had a very hot and dry summer (at some point during the year, even the grass stopped growing, turned brown and died. I got so accustomed to walking on dead, brown grass that for a long time after we moved north, I couldn't walk on "green" grass in barefeet, because it felt sticky :). Many vegetables are water gluttons and most of the ones we like to eat, actually prefer cooler temps. The hot, dry summers make it difficult for them to grow. You might also try growing some of the cold weather lovers (like broccoli, most greens, and lettuces) in part shade, perhaps giving them dappled sun, instead of full sun, or just full sun in the early morning or late afternoon. You probably already do this, but I'll mention it anyway ;), check out Johnny Seed, and other seed distributors, for drought tolerate and heat loving plants. I found a variety of pie pumpkin at Johnny seed that has a short vine (perfect for my small space), but that is a prolific fruiter. I planted five seeds, and from the looks of things, we're going to be up to our armpits in pie pumpkins ;). I've tried to grow pumpkin for years without much success, and I didn't change anything this year except the seeds I planted ;).

One other thought ... perhaps those weeds could be dinner ;).

Linda said...

Christy, I can totally sympathize with you. That is why this year I took a break to get my motivation back. I almost gave up, but I know/knew I really wouldn't/couldn't do that!

Jennifer said...

Your doing better than I am- I got 2 tomatoes off my plant and they were the smallest tastiest tomatoes i have ever tasted.. My beans sprouted early (like in April/early May) and I got a hefty handful off of them before I went on vacation and then plant died. My potatoes- they also died-- Oh Well.. :)

Ron said...

The corn ears are actually missing kernels due to poor pollination. You can increase the odds of full pollination by planting in a block, but even then they may not look perfect. They are fine to eat though, and you can certainly just cut the kernels off.


Gayle said...

Don't get too discouraged. Try try again.

Last year I didn't do well with my vegetables, but my flowers were awesome. It boiled down to water. The flowers were more important to me so I watered a lot, but sometime skipped the veggie garden. Vegetables need tons of water...carrots, onions, lettuce, spinach...all thrive with water. This year I planted and then put down two inches of mulch (partially decomposed compost consisted of a lot of sheep poo). The mulch retained the water and didn't dry out on the hot days. I have eight in carrots for the first time!

My husband encouraged me to keep a notebook of these observations so I don't make the same mistakes next summer (like planting green beans that won't grow or planting the carrots rows too far apart or the lettuce too close). It all gets better with time. This is my fourth year gardening and it is tons better than the three years before and I expect it to be better next year. We aren't born gardeners...we have to learn. Don't give up learning.

Anonymous said...

There are some years gardening is just horrible. Hopefully, you'll do better next year. I agree with the layers of paper to keep weeds from growing. I hold mine down with the old bedding from the birds' pens. As it decomposes over the winter (well in Iowa it will) it will provide fertilization. Good luck.

Teresa (new blog address)

Razzberry Corner said...

I'm so sorry about your garden. But it makes me feel good about mine! Mine did horrible this year from lack of water. With the well water starting to get cloudy we figured we'd better save our water for necessities, like showers and laundry. That's life, I guess. So we didn't water the garden, and it dried up! And I'm still in that wallowing in self-pity state, but you are starting to motivate me!

Christy said...

Thanks for the support and the ideas. I didn't mulch well enough this year, I know that. I will improve on that next year. I have a ton of poopy hay I can put down.

Wendy, I am really thinking about getting rid of the summer garden all together. Or just growing beans and corn and nothing else in the summer. I need new seeds next year mine are getting old and I had poor germination this year, so I'll check out some of those varieties.

Lynn, glad I could make you feel better! Also glad I'm not the only one.

Ron - great to see you back! I didn't know you were blogging again. I'll catch up in the next few days. I've missed you!

linda m said...

If you would like newspaper for putting down in your garden let me know. We get a Sunday paper and usually just put them in the recycle bin. But if you could use them I will save them and bring them with us next time we visit. Let me know.

Amy said...

I plan do follow the Square Foot Garden book when I put in my garden. Growing up in the south, I sssoooo understand your frustration with the weeds. Thankfully, I'm further north now, in the Texas panhandle, so I am optimistic gardening (rather fighting the weeds) will be easier here.

Rose Silver said...

Oh. The ear you got looks like just what I had last week! I wonder what is the problem with corn nowadays. Anyways, I have peppers and tomatoes too and they all are doing fine even with the weather we have today.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...


Makes me feel a little better that not everyone grows things so easily or without some hardship.

I've yet to try growing veggies, because I'm afraid it will all be for naught. Our soil and moisture are all lacking and our weather so unpredictable.


Christy said...

Lisa, I have plenty of hardships when it comes to the garden! I hope the raised beds hope.

crystal small said...

Sorry to hear that. I got problems like that in my first try of gardening. . They say that I got problems with my soil so I started then to use manure compost. It did well and now my garden looks healthy. All of my plants grow enormously and perfect. I just cover my plats with nets to avoid insects to eat them.

Mark said...

I had the same problem with corn, but I cooked and ate them anyway. They still tasted good!