Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Garden 2016 Update 9

I took what was left of the garden out of the ground on Saturday. There wasn't a whole lot left, a couple of barely producing pepper plants and a mostly dead tomato. There were two celery root plants that lived, but when I took them up they had not made any root at all, they were a good  try but no win.

The lesson learned was that in the future I will only buy my plants from big box stores or Burpee, the plants are less romantic but they are hearty and they don't die. They are also cheaper and if they do die, they can be replaced without tears. I wanted the fancy varieties from the hipsters to do well and they all died. They were all too young and should never have been sold for transplant at that age. It was stupid on both of our parts. Mostly my part for giving them money for fetal plants that died of shock ten minutes after they got in the ground. Also, never, ever, ever buy "heritage" variety of anything again - its short hand for "going to die, going to to get eaten". Dumb idea. Gardening is not romantic. Its about cold hard, heartless capitalism.

Grrrr. I had such plans! I planted a lot of plants, many! I planted in a new plot! With so much  direct sun! It was going to be amazing! I was going to end up with bushels of produce! I was going to give away record numbers of tomatoes. I had real plans for this garden. I got not one single tomato. Not. One. Single. Tomato. I was heartbroken.

The tomatoes were a loss. A total loss. First it rained and rained and then it rained some more. It rained too much. And then it was hot. Very hot. Too hot. Tomatoes like the heat and sun but they don't like too much heat and sun. It turns out, hours of direct sun might not be the best thing for them. They  grew, they bloomed, they made baby fruits and then they never got ripe.

Also, something was eating them.  Before the heat/rain/fungus?( I use drip hoses to avoid fungus but then it rained and rained and rained and the plants never dried out and thus, fungus spread and dead plants) killed the plants, a critter was eating the unripe fruits from the plants. Whole. It might have been rats, but I've had rats in the yard for years and they never bothered the garden before - however, the garden was on the other side of the yard and it might have been too much work to get to the unripe fruits in years past...  I don't know who was eating them, but someone or something ate every single one of them. Heart-broken.

There were some bright spots. The tomato eater was not fond of first time  hire spaghetti squash and it turns out, I am! Those plants did very well and produced fabulously well I even was able to share the wealth. I really like them and the tomato eater didn't care for them either, I will plant them again.  I also planted zucchini for the first time and as it turns out, I like them too. Another good hire.

The last plant out the garden and by far the best producer was my pepper plants. These guys survived everything that got thrown at them and still kept on going. They were uniformly brought to you by big box stores - as were the squash and zucchini. I harvested the last hangers on and brought them inside and cleaned them out, boiled briefly, chopped the small ones and got them ready for freezing and use through the winter in soups, stews, stir fries, pizzas, and pot pies and stuffed.

I need to remind myself that this year was not a complete wash! I did get plenty of squash and zucchini and peppers. I am very fortunate that I did as well as I did under the circumstances and I should be grateful and I need to focus on my wins instead of my loses. I had some good ideas and they worked. I had some not so good ideas and I can learn from those failures and use those lessons moving forward and not repeat those mistakes.

 I already of a secret plan for Garden 2017.

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