Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ditzy gardener

I am seriously thinking of changing my blog name to the ditzy gardener.  There are moments when I have such mental clarity and organizational energy it is scary.  I have drawn a detailed map of where when and what will be planted in my veggie garden.  I have a mental image of how it will look.  I have painstakenling listed the seed packets, their germination times and which company they come from.  In the spring I wrote down when and what I planted to see how they grow.

Have I continued to write down when and what I have planted?  Have I meticulously followed the plan that I worked so hard drafting with pencil and ruler on graph paper?  No I have not. An unintended army of weeds, crop failures, too much rain (so no spraying for fungus), lack of energy, and now intense heat are my excuses.  In fact, at this point I am not sure where the map is on my desk (another disaster area, although I cannot blame this on weeds.)  Yet some crops grow without much care; the radishes, mizuna, arugala, lettuce (done in by the heat, but delicious beforehand), most of  the peas.  The potatoes in bags look like they are doing well, but not yet ready for harvest.  The pod radish has turned out to be easy to grow and very tasty.  A successful experiment.  Somehow the spinach also did well, although next year I think I will devote a larger area earlier so I can have loads of baby spinach.  Also, the snow pea seedling are so very tasty they will also get a larger area, earlier in the season.  Since I am cutting back on vegetable gardening size I may have just spinach and peas seedling in early spring! Surprisingly I have eaten at least 6 strawberries from the plants first year of growth, very tasty, hopefully next year there will be more!  One type of strawberry seems to be doing better than the other.

My failures are legion.  Beets are a bust.  Rapini a no go (maybe I just needed to harvest them very early, not sure what happened).  Kale may work out but it is getting hot, perhaps they should only be grown as a fall crop.  The soil in the brassica bed turned out to be crummy (long story, not telling), so it is a wonder that anything grew at all, like the arugala.  I have learned a lot from this experience.  My garden next year will, of course, be perfect, a veritable Eden.

So here is my philosphy, I mean the real one, not the one I hope to have:  Read up on the science, try to put it into practice, try to make the best compost possible and then work within your energy level and attention span. 

Something will grow!


  1. My lettuce/cool weather bed is now almost completely going to seed, rapini didn't turn out as well as I hoped but better than last year!
    I'm just letting that entire bed go to seed. Hopefully come September I'll see the fruits from that idea!

  2. I had problems with rapini also. I let it go to seed, but it didn't seem thick enough to pick. But I am pretty sure the soil I planted it in was not rich enough. I will try it again next year also. I have cut down on the size of my veggie beds so I can't afford the room to let it go to seed completely.