Ugly Garden Soldiers On
That helped her looks (and the weed control) considerably. You’ll also note the absence of cloches, which also doesn’t hurt appearance wise. After we got off to some nice solid spring weather, I took them down. Spring! June! It must be time!
I hemmed my tomatoes in with a (hopefully) heat and light reflecting galvanized barrier, and lots of heat sinks.
Aaaannnnd then I put the plastic back up a week later. At least for the tomatoes. I should know better, even though it’s June. Night time temperatures are too low and the rains returned in earnest this week. Hopefully, the tomatoes will forgive me (again). Such is the plight of the nervous-nelly new gardener.
Even if she’s looking a little more fit and trim, we aren’t without our struggles.
My much touted lettuce table, keeping my greens out of bugs way? Apparently, my spinach is none too happy with this arrangement.
That is what unhappy spinach looks like. Yellow-wilty, and not growing in protest. There’s a whole box of these unhappy campers.
The truly unhappy are not just stunted, they are bolting! How can they bolt? They haven’t grown to begin with!? Spinach frustrates me. Everything I read says either the Ph is off in my soil, or the soil quality itself sucks. Ph I can’t do much about, but I’ve fertilized. I’ve amended. Truly, I haven’t had much better luck with spinach in the raised beds either. We’ve had a brief honeymoon period this spring, but that’s also bolting. Since I planted it last September though, that spinach is entitled.
Lettuce in the table is only marginally happier.
The red lettuces are interspersed with unhappy spinach, and also seem to be on the slow side.
Can I not get a freaking salad!? For reals?
I’m going to play with the placement of the lettuce table, add some homemade compost and I might abandon my spinach efforts. Trouble is, I eat a lot of spinach.
Just to get would be failures out of the way, one word: Basil.
Can’t say as I’m surprised by this, honestly. Basil and I have never been on the best of terms, growing wise. Dedicating most of a bed to the stuff, probably a stretch. I should have cloched it, and didn’t, making due with improvised milk jugs instead. It looks like hell. It’s the only thing I’ve got suffering from serious bug damage. Not healthy plants. I’m thinking of transplanting the lot into a big pot, and dedicating that 3/4 bed to fall crops, which I desperately need a spot for anyway. Basil fail is providing me a convenient excuse. In a container, perhaps I can get it some more heat and maybe eek out a mini basil harvest.
Lest you think I am a lost cause, there are things about which I am cautiously optimistic.
Check out my taters.
An improvement over my potatoes just last week.
This is the most prolific bag, but I’ve got six sacks, all going to some degree or another. Potatoes are real substantial food. Who needs salad!? These are the pep talks I give myself.
Also in the potential win column, strawberries.
If I get a singular batch of berries this year, as in enough for a cereal bowl, I will be checking the box labeled strawberry success. I’ve taken some slug precautionary measures, lining the box with copper tape and busting out my gallon jug of Sluggo. Stay back, you beasts!
Pumpkins and Parsnips both sprouted.
We are in this for the long haul. Yet, at this point, not actually producing any food. The only thing we could eat are onions, which would mean sacrificing some of my later harvest. Not interested. If I had lettuce… well, yeah, I don’t. I’ll work on it. Beans, cucumbers, and those coddled tomatoes everything is a ways off. And we come to my major struggle: timing. If I’d planned it right, Ugly Garden would be feeding us (to some degree) right now. But, I didn’t and she isn’t. There are tweaks to be done. Big picture tweaks to make eating from our yard a feasible option. I’m still focused down in the weeds (literally) of just making each individual crop produce.
How about you? What are you eating from your garden? Or are you? What’s been your biggest struggle this Spring? And what’s keeping your hope alive?