gardening, Sustainable Living

A Poor Success; The Vegetable Garden Update

What a poor year for the garden! With too much rain and below seasonal temperatures it is a wonder the gardens have even survived this year at all. In fact, we know friends whose gardens have flooded out completely.

In the beginning, it felt like failure for us too; the chives from seed did not come up, the parsley from seed has been VERY slow, something keeps digging into the winter onions, some type of bug has eaten most of the turnip tops, and the pepper seeds which were planted twice have not come up at all (and maybe not the tomato ones either….jury still out).

However, after all of these failures, disappointments, and complaints, once we walk around and see how well all the other plants are doing – we see success.  There is a plus to container gardening when there is too much rain; they drain better than the ground. I’m thinking that maybe in smaller amounts the soil in the container will be warmer than the soil in the ground as well which may help.

Here are a few pictures to illustrate the success we are having despite a poor start and poor weather co-operation….

The Multiplier Green Onions:

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The bin is only 1/2 full at the moment because we’ve been harvesting and eating! So fresh and full of water it feels like eating celery at first. They are sweet and mild enough to enjoy from end to end, eating them raw (dipped in a little salt of course).

Green Onion from Seed:

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From seed, these will be a little slower, but we will be able to enjoy them later in the season after the multipliers are done.

The Chives:

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They’ve grown a lot since last year. We haven’t touched them yet and plan to wait for ‘onion gap’ between the multiplier green onions and the from seed green onions before we do. We will use the chives in place of green onions in recipes for a similar flavour.

The Cucumbers & Zucchini:

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The Tomato and Basil:

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I realize that this does not at all look like a Tomato Plant hahaha. We planted four Mortgage Lifter tomato seeds and something came up in the exact location that we planted them. More than anything, it looks like a cucumber plant and we did try growing cucumber in this bin last year. I guess we’ll wait and see what happens.

Here is a picture of the Tomato Seed package showing the fruit, but not the plant….

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The Basil plants were just picked over yesterday for first harvest this year and they smell great!

The Okra Plants:

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A little smaller than what they should be due to the cooler temperatures, they still look well and hopefully will continue to grow in the July heat that we’re expecting (and hoping to see).

The Horseradish:

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So impatient for these to get started, we can see there’s no worry going forward about the kind of harvest we’ll have for this plant. I’ve even had a dream about grinding it up; it was so hot and spicy my eyes were burning & I woke up sweating!

The two kinds of Lettuce:

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We’ve harvested from both a week ago and had such an abundance that we did not get back to the ‘patch’ before the first plant got bitter. While it was cool in the morning yesterday, we cut it down and gave it a really good watering to encourage new growth. The second one, because of the speckles, was easy to pull off the longer, older, tougher, bitter pieces and again after a really good watering, will be ready for another harvest in a few days.

The Garlic:

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A little crowded on one side; probably because the bin is not 100% level and some of the garlic seeds got so wet, they rotted. We will leave them alone until next spring.

The Parsley:

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Slow to start, it looks like we won’t have a ‘dud’ crop after all and there will be lots of parsley to dry and enjoy for another whole year. We are almost finished last year’s crop that we dehydrated.

The Radishes:

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Harvested and replanted three times already and with lots of seed still left, we will be able to enjoy these crunchy snacks for the next month.

An Empty Bin:

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This is where we planted the pepper seed twice, both times unsuccessfully. Some things maybe really should be started indoors. Here is the picture of the pepper seed package….

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We’ve replanted the bin with Turnip seeds. The turnips at the side of Mom’s house have been eaten up by bugs. We have had to pull out all but a few that look ok to continue on. They have been sprayed with a sunlight soap and water solution to make them sticky and unenjoyable for the bugs.

Turnips:

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Hopefully, the ones in the bins fare better.

The Winter Onions:

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The winter onions are doing well on the side of Mom’s house despite being dug up a few times from some sort of animal. We heard a little tip: put a couple of moth balls around the bed. This is supposed to deter the animals and we’ve put two in to see if they work.

The Beets:

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The beets have done well here too with the winter onions. We thinned them yesterday, kept the ones we took out and washed them up ready to eat in a salad.

The Carrots:

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The carrots are doing poorly here, but we suspect a lot of their seed has washed away along with the parsnip seed that we can’t seem to find coming up.

Grandma’s Garden:

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From left to right; corn, spinach, carrots, with the last row a 1/4 row radish (that was harvested 2 days ago and reseeded) and a 3/4 row snow pea plants.  The carrots will need to be thinned out soon.  We’ve been waiting for a good weather day for Grandma – no rain and not too hot – we want to help, but not take over so she can remain active in the garden. Hoeing is therapeutic at any age! Despite all the rain, her garden has managed to drain well and she’s only lost a small section of the spinach row to flood.

Despite a few failures, some frustration and replanning, we do see success at every turn in the garden this year and hope to see more as the season continues.

 

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One thought on “A Poor Success; The Vegetable Garden Update

  1. My garden is doing so poorly, too – as you say, wet and cool, especially cold overnight – even the cold loving plants are struggling. Makes me appreciate what the folks who settled this area in Northern Ontario had to endure!

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