Thursday, October 7, 2010

Oh, Garden!

There are two reasons that I've been neglecting and avoiding this space. One, my garden sucked eggs this year. Two, we have a baby on the way, so I was pregnant and sick for most of the summer. I still had a garden this season. I did have some successful harvests. However, I had the worst gardening season I've ever had in my 8 or so years of gardening.

To begin, I had the toughest time getting beans to germinate and grow into plants. The first batch never made an appearance above the soil. The second batch was mowed down by creatures. The third batch was mowed down by creatures. Eventually, I was able to make a humble harvest of green beans, but not nearly enough. I froze two quarts. And they're already gone.

For some reason my basil and carrots and some winter squash seemed to suffer from poor germination. I haven't been able to pin it on any one factor.

Next, and this is really the biggest issue, is that I got pregnant in June, found out in July, and was almost entirely worthless for physical labor in the humid heat of this past summer. I cursed the sun. I really hated sunny days for some reason. The first several weeks were like one long, slow migraine headache.

But I forgave myself as I was growing a baby instead of veggies!

By the time I started feeling better (um, mid-September) the damage had been done. I was able to keep the garden hobbling along with weed management, watering, and harvesting. It was a good year for chard, broccoli, new potatoes, butternut squash, eggplant, sweet bell peppers, garlic, snap peas, and spinach. Though, here's the most depressing thing about my garden: blight. I had blight on things I didn't know got blight. Of course my potatoes are a mess, blighted and scabby. I have yet to dig them and find out if anything is salvageable. My tomatoes started off with blight and are ending with blight, though we've been able to harvest some and use them right away. The crazy thing is that the carrots got some kind of blight. They pretty much all died back and are now just getting going. Baby carrots is what I will harvest I guess.

So, my favorite crops, carrots and potatoes, were a massive failure. The summer squash just never took off (which I realize is probably a blessing in disguise. I'm still using *last year's* frozen, shredded summer squash in zucchini bread.)  I will never grow broccoli again. I must have picked off a thousand green cabbage worms.

It was pretty depressing out there. The saddest thing is looking forward to next year without tomatoes or potatoes. The only solution I can think of is to take a break from that plant family.

So, now I'm working on this other growing project: the new kid. Next gardening season will be something else! The baby is due in March, so I'm hoping to be ready for some backyard gardening with the little one by May.,


Melissa said...

Congrats! Such exciting news! You must have sent your garden luck my way, the best one I've had in 8 years.

Genie of the Shell said...

This pregnancy year has also been MY worst garden year! Go figure. After the woodchuck dug a hole under the fence and the heat set in, I just completely gave up. At least you got some veggies out of it... and you're right, we're growing BABIES this year, which is even more exciting than vegetables. :)

Congratulations on seeing a healthy baby girl on your ultrasound!

Our gardens will be better next year, I'm sure. I'm hoping to make some homemade baby food from whatever I can harvest.

Molly said...

YAY, Melissa! I'm glad someone had a good gardening year :) Sounds like you picked a good spot to move to... for lots of reasons.

You're right Genie. Healthy, chemical-free baby food is a good goal for next year. I'm hoping that some spring gardening helps me get outside after the baby's here. Maybe some tag-team gardening/ playdates?