By Jackie Hollenkamp Bentley
Yeah, I just may have picked the wrong year. Don’t get me wrong, I was able to harvest food for my family from this year’s gardening: potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, peppers. But I’m greedy. I wanted enough to be able to can and store for the winter, and maybe give a few fresh veggies away to friends and family.
So this made me sad:
As I’ve learned earlier (See CGGG: Misery Loves Company), I’m not alone in my home gardening woes. A lot of people have told me they’re having crappy years. So I didn’t feel too bad when I began ripping up those brown, withered tomato vines.
Normally, I would throw them into my composters, for some consolation compost. But these died of blight, mold and whatever else this year’s weather threw at them. So off to yard waste they went.
The dead, weed infested pepper plants that haven’t provided a single pepper in weeks? Gone. Buh Bye.
I have to admit, it was lethargic ripping and pulling and tossing the plants.
But, I’m not one to totally give up. There were two squash plants, and the sunflower plant, that looked like they just might survive. I still want to get my hands dirty and see something rise out of the ashes. And I am.
I also ripped some dying tomato vines from one of my containers that had given me all the plum tomatoes it could. Again, not one to give up, I tilled up the dirt and planted some cucumber seeds. I know, it’s September. But our first frost date isn’t until mid-November and cucumbers can grow pretty fast.
Dang it, I want some homemade bread and butter pickles!
I set some glass shelving over the container after I planted the seeds to help keep in the heat and moisture and voila! Several little plants broke through within a week.
So, while I’m disappointed in this year’s garden production (and probably wasn’t a good year to write a blog about it), I learned a lot, namely to look for different drainage methods for the raised beds in case the Biblical rains hit us again next year.
But the season isn’t over yet, so stay tuned.