Garden 2015, What Went Wrong

I tried to have a garden last year but it just didn’t work out so you can imagine my excitement when things started growing this year!

I started a bunch of seeds inside and then moved them to the garden in May.  It rained everyday in May so everything grew like crazy.  Just a month ago I had high hopes for my garden but fast forward to this month:

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By the beginning of August I had lost one pumpkin plant to squash bugs.

This week:

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They’re both gone.

So I ripped them out

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I was really sad to lose them.  I had big plans for those pretty blue pumpkins in my fall decorating plans.  Next year, I hope.

Of course, my squash and zucchini plants weren’t safe either:

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Gross.  I did a lot of research on squash bugs and decided that there was no way for me to get rid of all of them this year so I ripped up the squash and zucchini too.

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Next year I need to stay on top of these-this year I really should have cut off all the leaves that had eggs on them and I need to go out each morning to kill any adults that I missed.

I did bag all the plants in thick, black trash bags, sealed them tight and took them right out to the trash in hopes that no bugs (or at least not as many) will winter over in my soil and come back out next spring.

Any other advice?  It’s so sad to invest so much time growing stuff only to have little bugs take out everything!

Tomorrow I’ll show you what I (by some miracle) did right this year!

-A

Garden in July, 2015

So far this summer has been good to my garden!  We got no rain in June but have had great, hard rain the last couple of days which has made everything (and me!) very happy.

garden1I had my first harvest this week: two squash, one zucchini and a little jalapeno.

garden2My peppers aren’t doing much.  They all have flowers but so far I’ve only gotten one jalapeno

garden15but another one is growing!  I was really hoping for a lot of habaneros that I can candy but so far I have none.

garden3My tomatoes and tomatillos are going strong!

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Both of my cherry tomato plants have fruit and

garden14My tomatilloes have tons of little tiny green paper husks. (I could have a lot of salsa verde this year!)

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The ground under my apple tree is littered with apples and yet, I still have hundreds growing!

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Last year I could count the number of apples on my tree.  This year I can’t even count how many are on one branch!

Along the back fence are

garden7my pumpkins.  These plants are humongous!  They were growing out into my yard and I was worried that I was going to run over them with the lawn mower so I ran some twine down from the fence and have been training them to grow up.  These are a cool, blue pumpkin that I think will be so pretty grouped together this fall!

Next to the pumpkins are my beans.

garden11They also seem to be pretty happy here!  I need to spend some time over here training those outside pieces back up toward the trellis.

garden12Again, I’m hoping for lots and lots of beans that I can pickle.  Looks like that might happen!

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Less than a month ago this box looked like this and now it’s spilling over with squash and zucchini!

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My last planter is filled to the brim with beets, cucumbers (yes, to pickle!) and nasturtiums.  I had to add more strings down to bring the cucumbers up out of the mass of beets and flowers.  (It wasn’t until this week that I noticed that I actually had cucumbers growing!)

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I just love seeing them pop out over the top of the planter and start climbing!

Overall, for my first real year of gardening, I’m thrilled!  I ate a squash and the zucchini with my dinner tonight and it was so satisfying!  Of course, I already have plans for next year (more planters) and have already started drawing up some ideas for rearranging things to make mowing and garden maintenance easier.

Last week I couldn’t wait for summer to end (sooooo hot here!) but now, with a belly full of food I grew and rain falling outside, I guess I’m okay with it lasting a couple more months.

-A

PS-do you follow me on Instagram?  You should-lately I post a whole lot more over there! (@awize)