On a scale of 1-10, I'd give this year's garden a 4: a 6 for effort and a 2 for results. So, a 4.
That's not good (let's face it, it's pretty terrible), but I've made peace with it. We really didn't know what we were doing, and we went about a lot of things the wrong way. I wasted $74 in heirloom seeds and only have some starchy corn and a few sad bell peppers to show for it. All the zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes that produced decently were all purchased at Home Depot after the heirloom seedlings failed.
Some of the major failures, and their reasons (as far as I can tell):
- pumpkins: squash vine borer
- acorn squash: squash vine borer
- hubbard: squash vine borer
- crooknecks: squash vine borer
- butternut: squash vine borer
- zucchini: eventually, yes, squash vine borer
- cucumbers: fertilizer burn/possibly squash vine borer
- watermelon: (unknown)
- potatoes: blight
(wish I were kidding)
- eggplant: unknown tiny black beetles
- cabbage: unknown beetles
- strawberries: overcome by weeds/apathy
- sweet peas: swift death, reasons unknown
- peppermint: (unknown)
- soy beans: (unknown)
- heirloom tomatoes: possibly bad gardening soil/unknown
- celery: overcome by weeds/apathy
Really, it's a good thing we weren't trying to live off the garden. It became, unfortunately, a novelty - try this salsa we made with the (Home Depot) cherry tomatoes!
- rather than a reliable source of food.
But the more I read (I've been reading a lot about gardening lately
), the less sad about it I feel. It would be like trying to make a shirt or a pair of pants without ever bothering to learn how to sew properly. Sure, I could cut some fabric and crudely stitch the pieces together into something vaguely resembling an article of clothing, but it wouldn't be very good
, and it wouldn't be very reliable
. This was my (our) garden this year. So how can I feel bad when, really, things grew in spite of
us, not because
of us? It was all wrong from the very beginning. I should eat our (severely over-salted) pickles and be happy to have them.
Next year will be different. Although this year was a near-total fail (rating it a 4 is being generous, in truth), I will always think of it with a mix of fondness and frustration. Why didn't I pick up a damn book sooner?!