It’s been an interesting and fun gardening season so far. We had warm weather early in March, which allowed me to plant a decent spring garden, and a super rainy and unusually cold May, which did not do us any favors. It took me forever to get my tomatoes, peppers and eggplant in the ground, but thanks to the fabulous June we’ve had so far, they’re all doing a fine job of making up for lost time.
Gardening is never without it’s challenges, and this year has been no exception. The difference in my gardening style now is that I anticipate things going wrong and roll with the punches. A few years ago I would have a hissy fit and maybe, okay definitely, cry when things didn’t go as planned… Especially when it came to my beloved tomatoes. Now I have the know-how to troubleshoot, and if all else fails, there’s always next year.
So let’s see… I had an epic broccoli crop this spring, which was a huge feat since I’ve never been able to grow it before. I have celery growing like mad, also a first, and I had a decent breakfast radish harvest, although not as good as last year’s. My watermelon radishes got huge leaves, but never developed much of a root. I will try them again in the fall.
One very big disappointment was my strawberries. We were able to harvest a good amount, but tons of them were developing brown spots and rotting on the vine before they were fully ripened. Others were getting eaten by slugs and other insects. I didn’t have the time to do damage control, so we lost a lot. I’m considering taking out the entire bed to make way for something else, and will look into a vertical planting system next year to make use of my small space.
Bugs, bugs, bugs continue to be an issue, but that’s in every garden. I’ve been spraying neem oil consistently and hope to keep the white flies, aphids and cabbage worms at bay. My dill has been especially bad with what I think are aphids, and my laurel (bay) and meyer lemon trees developed a bad case of scale, which is arguably the most disgusting bug ever. They’re like tree leeches, and my poor meyer lemon is struggling to stay alive.
I’ve noticed a few of my tomato plants getting a little bit of leaf spot, so I will need to be proactive about disease prevention before it gets out of control and spreads. Fungal diseases and blights get me every single year, and I’m learning to be smarter about it. They need mulching and proper staking, badly, and I’m hoping to get around to that this weekend. I lost several basil varieties due to all the rain and cool temperatures in May, but luckily I’ve been able to replant and they’re coming in nicely.
My carrots were never thinned out properly, so they’re growing all gnarly and twisted. Truthfully, I kind of like them when they look really funky, but still, it messes with the harvest and overall quality. My beets are shaping up nicely and should be ready to harvest shortly. My garlic is looking as wonderful as ever, and the scapes will be ready to cut any day now. My onions, on the other hand, are bolting and have not formed bulbs – a major fail, as well as my brussels sprouts. I’ll just have to try, try again.
Peppers were topped off a few weeks ago, meaning I trimmed the tops to encourage more growth, and they’re starting to get nice and bushy. Peas are being harvesting right now and are as sweet as ever. Potatoes, another first year experiment, are growing, but I have no clue what the harvest will look like.
That’s about all I can think of for now, but I’ll be back again next month to report on he new growth, and there’s bound to be LOTS! Maybe even some tomatoes. 🙂
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