Sunday, July 18, 2010

Completely Rotten, Utterly Miserable, Failure of a Garden

The garden is not going well. Understatement of the year.

It should be going great. It was an early spring. It's been a warm summer. More sun than we're accustomed to. Enough rain to keep it happy.

We were late getting Pig. Then after a few weeks, Pig quit working. Refused to dig in the garden. Would only dig at night after she escaped her pen- and then, not in the garden.

My greenhouses haven't even been started yet. It's late July. They were supposed to be up in May. I'm still hoping they'll get done so they'll be ready for next year. But not going to accomplish anything this year. As a result, the tomatoes are struggling along. The cukes died. Half the pumpkins died.

The second attempt at cukes was nearly wiped out by a temporary greenhouse- the plastic came loose and flapped over top of them repeatedly on a windy night.

The rototiller wasn't working in the spring. It was fixed temporarily, but then broke again. Still not fixed. I'm working with less than half the space I normally use. A lot of stuff never got planted. I only got half a row of beans in when I ran out of space. Green beans- the most essential part of our winter garden.

I bought the strawberry starts too early I guess. Most of them died before they made it to the garden.

The peas... the one thing that I can count on- they grow all season here- were mercilessly trampled and eaten by goats. They're now fenced in, and may recover enough to give us a few handfuls, but nothing like we're used to. They chewed the tops off the beets.

Goats also wreaked havoc on the raspberries. Fortunately they're common enough in the woods that I'll be able to make up for them by foraging, but it will be more work than our patch.

Something has also been devouring the broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts. Do goats eat brussel sprouts? Do rabbits? It seems to be just a bit at a time, and they're not infested with bugs.

On the plus side- I have been wreaking havoc on the invasive purple flowers that the previous owner planted on the edge of the garden. We covered most of them over with tarps last fall, and I've been pretty diligent about yanking out the rest as they grow this year. They have large tap roots like rhubarb, so they keep sprouting more & more, but I'm hoping to slow them down by cutting off their food supply, and preventing them from going to seed. The asparagus is coming up much better this year as a result- the purple flowers were choking them out. Now I'm piling the leaves around the base of them, letting them compost to feed the asparagus. Ha ha! Take that, nasty purple flowers!

The onions and lettuce are also doing great, and the potatoes are looking respectable. I never transplanted the peppers, opting to leave them in their pots in a mini greenhouse instead. They seem happy, and are just starting to flower. I bought two garden centre tomato plants, and have kept them in there as well. They came with lots of green tomatoes already on them, have flowered more since, but nothing red yet.

Time will tell, but it's looking like our worst garden ever.

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