With the flower beds in front of the house looking so much better I was feeling pretty good about the work so far this summer Even after getting rid of the weeds and planting the first round of new flowers there was still work going on out there. But in the vegetable garden things were not going well at all!
When Pete and I planted the vegetables last month I was confident that they’d do well as in past years. But I didn’t consider factors that would cause this year’s vegetable garden to struggle. And those things are really causing havoc.
Normally as soon as the vegetables are in I lay down strips of garden cloth in the rows between the plants. Then I add a heavy layer of straw all around the plants and on top of the cloth. This year I couldn’t buy the straw and didn’t even lay the cloth that I had. It could have been pieced together to cover a lot of the walkways.
While I was busy working on the flower beds bad things were going on out back. Weeds, stimulated by the tilling Pete had done, grew like wildfires. The summer has, so far, been extremely hot and very, very dry. But I neglected watering the vegetables because my attention was all on the flower beds.
In the vegetable garden this was happening –
The corner where we’d planted carrots, onions, and chives is now just a thriving patch of weeds.
Strawberries, being hardy plants are still growing but the fruits are small. Part of the blame for this lies with three large trees that are blocking the afternoon sun.
Some of the peas have come up but I haven’t yet made the trellises for them and the rows really need to be weeded!
The broccoli is doing okay. Not great but okay. I weeded around them for over an hour yesterday and there’s still more to be done.
Both the peppers and tomato plants are stunted and sad looking. I really don’t have a lot of hope of getting anything from them. I was too disheartened to even take pictures of the rest of the peppers.
Pete did re-till the area where neither zucchini nor cucumbers sprouted. I planted both again and I’m hoping this second round of seeds will do much better.
The only thing that’s really thriving is the peppermint.
Things have clearly not gone well in the vegetable garden this year. But I’m going to try to help the plants along (better than I have so far) and maybe I’ll get at least a small harvest.
And if anyone wants to send about 5 bales of straw I can spread in the vegetable garden I’ll give you the address!