Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Garden Update




These adjectives are music to a gardener's ear, particularly if they desire to store the surplus for the winter months.  It's the kind of garden I envision when I plan my beds, purchase my heirloom seeds, and sprout my seedlings indoors.  The kind of garden I have hopes for when the seedlings get moved outside and the ground is warm enough (i.e. not frozen) to receive the seeds that are directly sown.

But, we all must face reality. The reality of my garden is it's




My garden has mono... as in, my garden has one.  One of most of what I planted.  You're not going to believe this.

I planted butternut squash.  Only three vines grew (of the eight planted), and I have just one butternut squash which is about 5 inches long, so far.  I still have lots of blooms, but at this late date, will they have time to mature?  Doubtful.

I planted corn (first time)... 24 stalks grew from the 30 seeds I planted.  On all of my 24 stalks, I only have one ear of corn!  [I'm dying laughing at the ludicrousy.]

I planted sunflowers.  I sowed nine seeds interspersed among my corn (I read they are happy together). Of the nine seeds sown, four grew.  Of the four, only one has blossomed.  (Though, they all have buds, so I'll likely get more before it gets too cold.)

I planted watermelon (first time, again).  I sowed eight seeds, and only two vines grew.  Of my two vines, I only have one watermelon.  There are still flowers, but like the butternut squash... we are out of time.  Think there will be enough time for this little golfball-size melon to get big enough to enjoy at a picnic before the first frost?  I think not.

My garden has produced carrots and tomatoes with a bit more gumption.  I'll probably end up with a few dozen carrots, and I'm pulling four to six tomatoes off the plants every day or two.  That's enough to keep me in salads, and then some, but I won't be canning enough to hold me till next growing season, as I had hoped.

Here's what I think the problem is:

1.  I'm in zone 4a which has a very short growing season; pretty much only Memorial Day to Labor Day. Unless I start using a greenhouse to get an earlier start, and perhaps a cold frame to extend the growing time, I'm not going to be overflowing in produce.

2.  My beds are not in the absolute sunniest part of my yard, they are in the second sunniest spots.  This is because the sunniest spot immediately became the dog-zone.  I surely could have planned that better, but with eight of the romper-stompers, there's no getting around that dilemma now.

3.  I need to be more diligent about amending the soil with good compost before sowing and feeding my plants with natural fertilizer.  They do suffer neglect, if I'm honest.  I turn the soil, dig a hole, and rely on sunshine and water.  That's pretty much it.

Any additional insights for a relatively new gardener?  (How long can I call myself a new gardener?)

Totally off topic, check out these two pics from the weekend.  They were taken with my iPhone which doesn't capture motion well, at all, but I love them anyway.

Kingston is having an absolute blast with grandpa (and grandpa is delightedly seeing to it)!

It was so much fun, the next thing he did was share the fun with his little sister!  Joy!!


Cindy Maddox said...

Had to laugh at your golf ball size melon! I live in Texas, plenty of heat, had lots of vines and blooms and... Many golf balls that never grew! I'm wondering if it's been an off year anyway haven't been able to buy a really great one this summer either. I enjoy your blog. :)

TheSweetOne said...

We must be in the same growing zone - I have one pumpkin plant of the uncounted seeds sown. My tomato plants are prolific but nothing is yet ripe for picking. Fingers crossed the frosts are late this year or it's off to the farmers market for canning tomatoes again this year. At least the beans, beets and broccoli are doing well for us...

fern1knits said...

My garden is very similar to yours! I have three spaghetti squash plants, with but one squash. I planted four cantaloupe plants, but don't have a single fruit. I planted about a million cucumber plants, and only a handful survived to give me a grand total of six cucumbers (two of which were teeny tiny). I planted fourteen tomato plants and haven't harvested more than a handful of cherry tomatoes, and just one larger tomato.

Tessa Zundel said...

It happens to all of us! Try tomatoes?

Tessa Zundel said...

By the way, thank you for sharing at Green Thumb Thursday! Come again next week!