Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Garden Update June 28

That picture to the left is of a dead garden.  With the exception of sweet potatoes and a few watermelons the 2011 is done.  I have to admit that I was disappointed in the results.  Maybe my expectations were too high after we had such a good yield last year.  This year certainly paled in comparison.  Just too hot and dry.  I owe my coworkers and neighbor an apology.  I talked a big game in the spring about all the wonderful veggies that I was going to be delivering in early summer.  LOL, that didn't quite pan out.

It wasn't a total loss.  We did get plenty for our family and my parents.  Rough estimates: 75 quarts of snap beans, 200 ears of corn, 200 tomatoes, 160lbs of potatoes, 50 squash, 50 cucumbers and 3 watermelons (maybe 2 more)  That is certainly not a failure, but last year we got about 400 tomatoes, and 15 watermelons.

My share of the corn bounty.  Shucked, cleaned
and bagged outside; then quickly to the freezer

A couple of proud watermelon farmers

Preparing tomatoes for the freezer.

Super-ultra-mega-watt-electric fence

The one really bright spot of this year's garden was the electric fence.  We didn't have any deer invasions at all.  That was exciting since we've fought those boogers so hard over the last few years.  As I wrote in a previous blog, the best part of the fence setup was that the only cost I had was the charger itself.  Everything else was free thanks to some friends and family who were just going to toss the batteries, wire, t-posts, insulators and corner posts.

All in all it was a good gardening season.  I got the opportunity to deal with a terrible weather pattern and I learned from it.  I experienced a bout of tomato wilt virus and I learned from it.  I made the mistake of over-promising to my friends and neighbors and I learned from it.  I've always considered gardening and family to go hand in hand.  This year was no different.  I was able to yet again learn from my father who is nothing less than a walking talking encyclopedia when it comes to that subject.  I was able to get my kids out in the garden to dig around and actually see where their food comes from.  In that regard, it was a great gardening season.  Now, we'll take a break until late August when we'll plant a small Fall garden.  I'm even considering some winter crops too.  We'll see what comes ;)

Y'all take it easy,



  1. Hey Alex, we've been gardening for years and have learned hard lessons. Especially the one of "gardening is not so easy." ha ha. I too have had times when I thought we'd have an awesome bounty and instead I got bounced. Your little guys are fortunate, it's good to learn about a harvest. And, it makes you consider how pioneers were so dependent on their crops and how devastating it must have been to see a crop ruined for whatever reason. The respect I've developed for our ancestors who had no choice but to live off the land has grown seriously deep.

  2. Well you gave it a very nice try with good results. Hard to do with no rain!!

  3. It's funny how some of us have too little rain and some of us have way to much.
    Every year it is more and more extreme.
    That's still a good yield, though!
    I learned not to promise anyone, now I just hook my thumbs in my belt loops and say "well, yeah, we've got some stuff comin'..."

  4. I didn't garden in the ground long enough to say this with any authority, but do you think the dry soil might have done better with hay covering your soil around the veggies?

    My Spring experiment with container gardening is over (near dismal, but like you, I learned LOL). Hopefully I'll get back home in time to start my fall container garden. I'm leaving tonight to tend to family having surgery - since we don't know for sure if the surgeon can do it the easier/gentler way, I might be away 1 week, or 5-6 weeks. If I'm away longer, I'll only have time for fall greens probably.

    See ya around!

  5. Shreela, I've read a lot about that method, but I believe that we were too dry even for that. Lana, Trey, Lindsey, thanks for stopping by!

  6. I'm sooo jealous of your garden. We're on the other side of the weather, with too much rain and cool temps. I only just spotted my first little green cherry tomato a few days ago. :)

    As for gardening success, I've gotten into the habit of assuming it's gonna be nil. Then, if I get anything, I'm happy. Except for my onions. I am the onion queen. Everything else, not so much. Lol. After a couple years of gardening up here, I'm still learning. Sure is a different gardening experience from California.

    Last, but not least, it's GREAT that you get the kids out there to help. I gardened with my dad, and looking back, I really value that he took the time to teach me.