Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Garden Rant

We are experiencing a heat wave here in Massachusetts....luckily the humidity is not wicked yet.  I have been very frustrated by the garden of late.  Once again I feel as though I have this newly expanded garden, with lots of time and money invested- yet I am harvesting nothing.  Well, something... but not much:

Some things have not made it out of the garden, so imagine 1 carrot, 1 strawberry, 3 beans, 5 blueberries, and a few more  tomatoes being added in for the past week.  Pathetic right?  (I have greens growing, but the tomatoes have grown so thick I can't reach in to cut any.)

No cukes or squash yet for me, they are so behind.  I seriously need to figure out what I am doing wrong.  I didn't sow enough beans again this year either.  Harvesting 4 beans a day is such a waste.  I did 3 succession sowings, filling a 4 x 4 bed.  I had thought it would provide a nice harvest....WRONG.

I spent waaaay too much money at the farmer's market this week.  Should not have had to buy peas, green beans, onions, tomatoes etc..... half this stuff is growing or was growing in my front yard.

Alright, enough of my ranting.  I have planted lots of strawberry cuttings in my kitchen garden.  I hope they root so that I may have a shot in he$% of harvesting more than 3 strawberries next year.  Planting one hundred strawberry plants everywhere else in my yard has been quite disastrous.  I think the space would be better suited to bushes and vines that won't be completely wiped out by critters.   (These cuttings were trying to root before they were pinched off by me, I am told they will survive it planted in dirt, but the first batch I stuck in the dirt has browned and withered.  Anyone have any experience with this type of propagation?  I always thought they needed roots before being cut from the mother plant.)

**P.S. - Those lowbush blueberries are wonderfully flavored, I wish I had room for more bushes.  Anyone considering adding blueberries to their repertoire should not pass them over without consideration.


Ribbit said...

We've been brutally hot here, too, but have gotten a break in the last four days. It's only been in the low 90's. Tomorrow we're back up to 98 with the added humidity.


Thomas said...

Hey Kelly, I can understand your frustration. Sometimes it feels like a constant battle trying to grow food. But if it makes you feel better, I think we're all experiencing the same sort of issues.

I had to resow my beans at least 3 times before I was able to fill in the bed. Beans have been awful for me this year. I've given up on growing beans in succession simply because of what you stated.

Strawberries were a bust for me this year too as the chipmunks have been relentless in their attack. I think next year, I will reserve a special bed for growing them and build a fruit cage to fit on top.

Have you considered reinforcing your garden fence? I've also been trapping a lot of chipmunks (7 in less than 2 weeks) by placing a havahart trap near my ground cherries.

Finally, my tomatoes are taking FOREVER....at this point, I think they will start to ripen all at once.

Annie's Granny said...

First of all, I have never had a good yield of beans using the SFG method. I know some do, but not me. I get great yields when I plant them in long double rows, spacing the beans about 4" apart and the rows about 6" apart. The ones I have in row right now would equal 8 squares (8' long by 1' wide) and I picked over 3 pounds of beans from them yesterday. I have a 2'x2' area in another garden, planted at the same time, same beans, square foot spacing, and I got a handful of beans. Half the square footage of the row method, a fraction of the beans. Why? I have no idea.

I can't imagine anyone having luck with unrooted strawberry plants. Cut them from the mother after they form roots!

Kelly said...

Holy chipmunk infestation Thomas!

I afraid of the same happening with my tomatoes, they don't seem to be setting new fruit in this heat. My beans are doing better than last year so far, but I had many fail to germinate as well.....and I just plain have too few growing I think.

Erin said...

I'm with Gran, I don't use traditional plotting for SFG beds, I plant long rows of beans. This year, 2 long rows of bush beans taking 1/2 of a bed, and 1 row in other bed provided enough to freeze extras already, and one 7 ft tall tripod of pole beans will put us over the top. I just sowed again and these will be the crop for winter preserving. Are critters eating them? I used to not bother with bush beans but my yellow wax and green contender let me harvest a pound every other day. I know it's frustrating, and even worse in a heat wave. I have that trouble with greens, can't grow any lettuces at all in summer, even the heat tolerant ones won't even sprout. I am now trying them in pots in the shade - I hate having tomatoes and no lettuce! Grrrr, I feel your pain! Stay cool - we are back at 98 every day but the humidity is lower than it was before.

Kelly said...

Earlier only Thomas' comment was here...odd.

AG and Erin- so maybe I am just spreading them out too far apart? I sowed the pole beans around the base of the tee-pee style trellis, and then sowed the bush beans around the outside of the bed (probably one per foot).

I will try and configure rows next year using your guidelines AG, I would really enjoy a decent harvest!

Nina said...

Whenever I hear of others with early harvests I always think of the fact that when theirs are all gone and done, I'll be harvesting my crop!I've seldom had anything grow/bloom/produce early. I learned to enjoy "my" garden years ago when my neighbor's crocuses would be in bloom weeks ahead of anyone else but I was enjoying mine long after hers had withered. I'm near you (southcoast of MA) and only have bean blossoms so far. I got one cuke yesterday but the rest are ity bity. It's only early July! I think a lot of folks have been fooled by the early heat.

Kelly said...

Nina- good to know you beans are not producing much yet either. Other local gardens are, but they may have sown earlier than us. I just need more than a handful to size up at once. :) How about the heat today?!? My house is 86 degrees right now- YUCK.

Dani said...

Hang in there Kelly.

Seems like we're all having garden problems this summer. :(

Ruralrose said...

I concur it is a weird year! Yesterday I picked a kale, 24 peas and 2 tiny broccoli heads. Tomatoes just went into flower, cukes have 4 leaves, i could go on it is pathetic. You and I both put all our effort in, good thing I am worried about world food security this winter. We will be fine because we are concentrating on it and not giving up. You will see by fall you will have too much processing to do. Do you know this link: http://globaldisasterwatch.blogspot.com


Kelly said...

Not familiar with that link, but I will check it out!

(Harvested 6 beans today!) :0


Welcome to Florida gardening where it is ALWAYS too hot! I have HUGE heirloom tomato plants that will not set fruit due to our ridiculous heat.

Kelly said...

That must be so frustrating!!

Erin said...

Kelly, I use the same spacing as Gran, about 4 inches on those bush beans. It will depend on variety too, the year I grew the purple bush was so-so, not enough to freeze, but this year the Golden Wax and Contender Green Bush varieties produced like mad. I just reseeded some beans this week, I will try and take a pic of the spacing, it's pretty close though.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I can relate to spending way too much at the farmer's market, when I'd planted the stuff, but either the rabbits got them, or I got them in late, and they were just getting started.

I've never started strawberries by cuttings, but a friend gave me some plants she dug out. I didn't do a good job preparing the soil, and they probably aren't getting enough light. They are not doing well, but most of them are still alive.