Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

September 10, 2008

The dark ugly underbelly.

It has been brought to my attention that perhaps I have been hanging around the garden with my rose colored lenses on. I have, from time to time, mentioned how the garden has been a bit off this year, and how some things I just was not happy with. But what? I guess I owe it to you to show you the dark seedy underbelly of my garden.

Exhibit A: The gardens poorest performing zucchini plants. These guys had such a hard time even getting started this year, that I had to go out and manually pollinate them daily for the first 3 weeks. Even after the bees showed up, I've never really gotten a lot of fruit from them. Put it like this, I haven't had enough to get sick of zucchini... get the point? And now, they have begun dying early on me. But I have found the culprits...all of them!
Squash bugs. Yep, I have more bugs than just praying manti. When I uncovered these this evening I realized it was worse than I even thought, nearly an infestation. Time to get out the soap! The chickens won't even eat them. What's up with that?
Exhibit B: The cucumber vines. Look at that pathetic pale drying. (no the squash bugs aren't getting them.) They just aren't healthy. I did notice some new growth tonight, but they've just not performed nearly like in years past.
And this is what I've gotten from them for the most part all season. Softballs. The funky shape is from incomplete pollination. Oh, they taste fine, and we've still been able to put up pickles, but not nearly like we had hoped. Any suggestions? Anyone else had this problem?
Exhibit C: Miniature bell peppers. Yep, that babies mature, all 2 and a half inches of her. Peppers are another crop that I really had good hopes for this year but is probably the worst producing of all of them. These are the first peppers from these plants ( I've picked one off another plant.) and I fear it is all my fault. Despite my best planning, I planted them in the same bed that I've had peppers in for the last three years...Crop rotation, crop rotation, crop rotation!!!
Exhibit D: Broccoli. Do you see there in the distance... the vigorous sprouts??? No? Me neither, but I should. Everything else has come up for the fall garden, that's a little kohlrabi sprout in front, but not broccoli. Add to that the fact that the spring broccoli that I planted never headed up at all, and just went leggy and flowered, and It's been a total bust this year.
And last but not least, the pests. Found this little bugger tonight. They've just started getting to my beans. This weekend, I'll hit em with a little diotamaceous earth and water mixture. That'll show em!
So there you go Mike. My little garden of eatin' has been uncovered for the mess it is. Well OK, it's not a mess and we've been really pleased by most of it, but by no means is it perfect and everything is NOT going the way I planned. But guess what, that's what gardening is about. I get better and more productive every year. And every year, I love it more and more.
Be well all...tomorrow is another Harvest Keepers update. (oh yeah, and Dilly bean recipe by request!)


Chicago Mike said...

Hey Paul,


It does seem to be a down year for everyone. I feel your pain on many of these issues. Crop rotation, pests, frustrating inability to sprout and on and on.

It is an act of faith to keep going knowing that some efforts just will not pan out but we keep doing it because we do get better and because, lets face it, nothing tastes, feels, or nourishes better than homegrown food.

Walk in grace,


farm mom said...

Wow! What I find amazing is that no matter how many miles are between us, I'm having the exact same issues with the zukes, cukes and peppers. Those could be shots from my own garden! This has been one strange year for me as well.

Sadge said...

I rotate crops through five different beds, and have good yields and bad ones. I haven't had much of a bean crop for years, so am glad I canned 'em like crazy the last time I did. For the past couple of years, I've been seeding Chinese Watermelon Storage Radishes amongst young squash plants - they grow all season under the leaves without going to seed, make a baseball-sized root that lasts way into the winter in storage, and I think might be repelling squash bugs ('course, might be letting the chickens glean the garden after the season, too). Can what you can, when you can.

molly said...

The strangest thing about gardening is you can do the sasme thing year in and year out, planning for the perfect crops and evey year will give you diffferent results!

Some years it's the seasons, some the insects, others defy explanation lol