Garden Update

I didn’t have super-high expectations for the raised bed we put in this spring. But, come on! One measly pepper? One wonky cucumber? A handful of beans? I suspect there are several problems:

1. Not enough sun. I underestimated the importance of six hours of direct sun. I love trees, but dang—what’s an enthusiastic newbie gardener to do?! We are moving in less than a week and I will not fudge the full-sun issue at the next garden.
2. Burying the soaker hose does not work well for young plants.
3. The raised bed is on a slight incline so during rains and watering, the melons were inundated with water (and seed likely floated away), while the cucumbers at the top of the bed were thirsty.
4. A two-inch gap has formed between the compost mixture and the frame. What does this mean?
5. I probably didn’t water enough during the mornings of the oppressive heatwave.
6. Something ate most of my pepper plants. I should actually utilize the hoops that were created for bird netting. Duh.
7. The curly tomato stakes worked great until the plant sent out thick shoots after the main lead had already intertwined with the curly stake. I probably need to learn about pruning tomato plants.

My only success has been the Fargo yellow pear tomatoes. They’re good, but no Mexican midget, which was last year’s big hit. The Mexican midgets have a better flavor, too. I am quite disappointed by the ground cherries. I had such good luck with them last year. I guess that’s what it was…luck. I think the volunteers are doing better than the transplants but none of them are producing. I planted them in the same spot, perhaps that was my folly? But, hey, I learned that ground cherries will re-seed, so that’s pretty cool.

I have identified some problems and quandaries in my garden. Head over to Peak Oil Hausfrau for some problem-solving techniques.

fargo yellow pear tomatofargo yellow pear

6 thoughts on “Garden Update

  1. If it’s any consolation, I haven’t had good luck either this year. It rained like mad in May and then got super hot in June. Not good. Our tomatoes are eeking it out and we’re doing okay with the peppers but the cucumbers have dried up, the squash is not really producing, the onions were under sized…the only thing we really had do well was the garlic we planted last October and harvested in June. Some years are weird!

  2. Have you seen the raised beds Ron Ferrell is building as a business? Man, that’s the way to go! As tall as a straw bale and filled with composted horse manure. That’s about two feet taller than my puny 8-inch raised beds. I bet that garden is fertile!

    The only thing producing in my garden right now is sunflowers, cherry tomatoes and swiss chard! Hopefully fall will be better.

  3. On #4, it probably has to do with the heat. Our summer has been a blast furnace at times, and with raised beds, that compost/soil is probably not benefiting from the natural coolness in soil. I’d bet it is contracting, like a cracking clay soil. Perhaps mulch a bit more?

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