Peanut and I planted a garden last year that consisted of green beans and carrots.
The garden was about 50% successful, meaning we harvested green beans for about 2 solid weeks and heartily enjoyed them, but the carrots grew no longer than about 1/4" long, despite the voluminous greens that sprouted above the soil. In consulting with the farmer friends of ours, we determined that there is not enough sand in our soil. In other words, the soil is too hard for the carrots to grow down into.
Having learned that lesson, Peanut and I carefully selected seeds this spring with plans to grow broccoli and tomatoes. The seeds went into the ground right around mother's day, which is a little late but let's face it, April/May are a busy time of year when you work in special ed and are prepping for arrival of baby number 2. Sure enough, sprouts emerged and Peanut and I faithfully watered the growing veggies.
Failure number one occured shortly thereafter: I never thinned out the plants that sprouted up. I take full responsibility that the task should have been done but wasn't. I will unflinchingly blame laziness brought on by late term pregnancy as well as being otherwise occupied by a newborn as to the reasons why thinning never happened. I guess in the back of my mind, I also figured in some Darwinian way, that the ones that recieved enough light would grow and the ones that didn't would stop growing, thereby, thinning themselves without requiring a fat 9-month-pregnant-lady to bend over and pull them up.
While the survival of the fittest is kind of what did happen, in the end it just anhialated the broccoli that had sprouted. Those plants competed with each other so much that they all ended up perishing, except for the ones that grew a little and were nibbled up by bunnies. FYI: I had never seen bunnies in our yard until this year. I think it has had something to do with the lightning fast Boxer and speedy-when-she-wants-to-be mutt we always have out in the yard. So needless to say, the Swanny family has harvested no broccoli from their own garden this year. There are 2 broccoli plants that have, however battled back and are showing promise. Though I know it's late in the season, they may still provide us some nutrients. I'll keep you posted.
The tomatoes have grown nicely, albeit in random directions--one was growing horizontally and peeking out the side of the patch to find sun. I have staked them the best I can and was rejoicing about a week ago that they finally had flowers on them. I find it funny that I've been buying the biggest, tastiest, reddest tomatoes at farmer's market for simply weeks now but mine are just barely sprouting fruit. The old farmer man at the farm stand near our house told me just on Saturday as I was selecting tomatoes for my salsa that "these are the last of the season." Yeah, mine look like this:
Oh, thank heaven that we aren't solely dependent upon my green thumb and way with gardening to feed the family for the summer and stock our pantry for fall/winter harvest. We'd either 1) die of starvation or 2) win the contest on Getting Less Jiggly With It for most weight lost. Maybe we'll have enough tomatoes to fix some BLT's by halloween!!
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