You know, I was feeling really disappointed in the garden this week, but comparing the two pictures makes me feel a little better. People are posting on facebook about their amazing garden yields and what do I have to show so far? A salad.
Oh, and like, 20 peas, or enough to make about 4 bites of a dish. Huzzah.
I even gave them little trellises for support, and this is how they repay me? For shame, peas, for shame.
While I was on my trip to NYC, it rained heavily. I think this sad tomato plant got too much water and just didn’t recover. I also realize now that it’s in the direct path of the tree trunk behind it and thus gets a LOT less sun than most everything else. Every time I see it, I sing the R.E.M. song “Crush With Eyeliner” because it has the words “sad tomato” in the first verse.
The other ones look robust and are flowering, though no little tomatoes yet.
At least the lettuce has had the decency to grow well. Ungrateful plants. After all the time and water I’ve spent on you. Sigh.
Maybe I should have amended the soil more when I started out. Or maybe this is just pretty normal for Colorado. Or maybe, just maybe, my expectations of a perfect garden when I have no idea what I’m doing were a tad unrealistic. Nah, that can’t be it. These hands are golden! (Or, are they supposed to be green? Perhaps therein lies the problem.)
Next year, though, I’ll definitely move some things around. I bought a couple more basil plants to replace the pepper (Susan, you were right about that. Little pepper plant never got any bigger than the start I put in) and will see how they do in a sunnier spot. I need to start the spinach earlier–it was an afterthought this year and bolted already, so I ripped it all out. I did also apply a light fertilizing of an organic fertilizer about two weeks ago, and that did seem to help a bit.
I’m also going to plant some fall veggies now, such as Brussels Sprouts and another round of spinach. Hopefully by next time, all those little flowers will have turned into fruits.
Or else, garden, or else.
7 thoughts on “Garden Stage V”
The obituary is a little premature—it’s only been about 7 weeks since our last frost! Give it time; you’ll be swimming in peas come August.
Our garden looks much like yours. The only things thriving (really, really thriving) are the tomatoes we planted in containers on the first of May. We spent three weeks needing to cover them with boxes, tarp, and blankets every night while all those late snows came, but it paid off. Probably helps that we started with brand new soil, too.
You’ve talked me off the ledge a bit! Also, I spied some baby tomatoes yesterday!! Hope lives!
I´m a gardennovice myself, this is the fourth summer we grow vegetables other than tomatoes (these we grow in large pots, the one time I tried free land growing was not a success). Since this is the fourth summer the patch is sown exclusively with peas, to restock the earth with nitrogen. And half of my patch looks a bit like yours whereas the other half is covered with much higher plants which actually need support. The difference between the the two halves is that on one side we kept another plant this winter which was moved this spring and here the earth is consequentely much more porous. Maybe you have the same problem?
Thanks for the comment! Well, it was all grass last year, and before that it’s all fill in dirt as the area is raised in front of our house and was just flat streetfront before that. I’m not sure what dirt the developers put in, but I do think I need to add more good topsoil next year.
You may have different issues going on. In terms of soil, I would check the texture of your soil. If you have alot of sand/silt you may have an issue relating to porosity as Malin mentioned, but it’s not about water as much as clay. If you don’t have enough clay in the soil, water and nutrients run through the soil. Without clay, there is nothing to hold the nutrients in place for the plants. Also, larger particle size ie sand silt mean large pour spaces which allows water to run through quickly and not stay in near the plant roots. To test your soil, go grab a handful and wet it slightly. Does it stick together? Will it keep a shape if you mold it into something? Try to make a snake with the wet soil and see if you can pick it up and twirl it around. Rub the wet soil between your thumb and forefinger. Does it feel gritty?Smooth? Sticky?
You also might have pollination issues. Without bugs or bees, your fruit is left to pollinate on it’s own. Consider pollinating the plants yourself using a small brush or get some bees or lady bugs to release in your front yard.
Okay–when the soil is soaking wet, I can form it into a clump that sticks together, but any attempt to roll it into a snake just crumbles. Does that mean it’s too sandy? We’re okay on the bee front, actually, as there’s a large hive down the street. I wonder if the sandiness of the soil is the issue. Do you add clay to it?
Well, you should test it when it’s damp not soaking. Double check when it is a bit drier. But my guess is that you don’t have a good mix of textures sand/silt/ clay. You can’t just add clay- don’t run down to the craft store and buy a pound and dump it in the yard. That won’t work. But I think it is probable that you have little clay so your soil ends up nutrient poor even though you added all that compost. Nitrogen & phosphorus slip through the soil pretty quickly unless there is something around for them to be stored in. So most of the good stuff you laid out on your garden in the begining probably when right out with the first coupla good rains as runoff. Plants can only take up nutrients slowly- overtime. So pulses of fertilzer won’t help if unless they can stay in the dirt.
You could add more but that may just throw money away at this point. If I were you, I’d just continue to look at what does well and what doesn’t and enjoy the crop you do get. Next year, or when the season is over, I would borrow our truck and get some new dirt. A cubic yard of good dirt is about 25 bucks from most landscaping places. You can just mix it into what you have.