Sunday, August 12, 2012

Veggie Garden... so much to learn

Here I thought I'd plant these things, these super awesome 4' x 8' raised garden beds, and they would spring forth with veggies aplenty... enough for us to enjoy fresh-picked salads all summer. OH! How bountiful we'd be! I imagined myself dropping off our extra zucchini and cucumbers and tomatoes at neighbours' doorsteps by the bushelful.

Suffice to say, I still have a LOT to learn about how to grow vegetables. Clearly, abandoning your garden with just a bi-monthly fertilizing and automatic daily 20-minute watering doesn't result in the kinds of yeilds I'd envisioned...

Part of the problem (besides having very little time or energy for it), is the stinkin horseflies. Or deerflies. Whatever they are... I literally step outside and within 2 minutes they attack. They're relentless! I can't STAND them!!! So I run back inside with my one miniature carrot and handful of lettuce that I managed to snag before they got to me and leave the rest to whither.

Now, I will say, we have had a little bit of success, considering how much I've neglected things out there. Yesterday after a week away (and then an ensuing day of laundry), I donned my bug hat and took The Girl out to assess the situation. I was pleasantly surprised to find a handful of green beans, a few fat but stubby carrots (seriously, 2" wide but only 3" long... what the...??) and a handful of red cherry tomatoes. Yay! Only the carrots made it into the house without getting devoured by The Girl and I. The tomato plants are heavy with green fruit just waiting to mature.

I've discovered the joy of eating veggies that you've just grown in your own back yard. There's really nothing sweeter than warm, freshly picked cherry tomatoes off the vine. They were *delicious*. Like candy. It's too bad there weren't more!

But I do know there are a few things I need to do out there... I just need to find the time. I pulled a few weeds (and ended up teaching The Girl the difference between a weed and a pepper plant... a little too late...), staked a couple of errant tomato shoots, and propped the cucumber plants back up on their supports. The one zucchini plant is whithered and doesn't seem to be producing anything, I have one weirdly shaped cucumber and a single miniature pepper, and my lettuce has bolted...

More importantly, I have learned that I have much to learn about all of this. Next year... Next year will be better. I'm going to ROCK it. Salads for everyone!