I Always Feel Like... Somebody's Watching Me!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Le Jardin Pathetique

I can't take credit for the rose bush... the previous owners planted it. But Ayla is really appreciating the flowers.

 My luck with the garden this year has been spotty, with a success rate hovering around 50%. I am adjusting to a new climate - where spring didn't really hit until late May and the yard was flooded with heavy rains for a few weeks after planting seeds. The seedlings that started indoors were promptly planted outside when their roots began to wind together, where many of them quickly perished (or were eaten by a pesky rabbit!). The strange thing is that some plants died right next to ones that are flourishing. It's as if there are dead spots in the ground. Others, like my cauliflower, aren't exactly dying but aren't growing either. Those plants have been outside for over a month and haven't grown an inch.
So what if there are more weeds than plants? The lettuce is in there something, and I finally wised up to using weed fabric by the tomatoes.

Tasty, tasty snap peas - they enjoy the Buffalo weather much better than Pittsburgh.

Can't wait to harvest!

  I put a lot of hope and faith into the ground every year, when I try new varieties and spend hours of time digging, weeding and mulching. My standards might be too rigid for realistic gardening: I am a little devastated every time a tomato plant dries up or the spinach looked healthy one minute and then was spindly and near-dead the next day. I know that gardening is all about trial and error, and I'm happy to be successful with at least one new venture every year. But, I have to admit, I probably get disproportionally upset when something completely fails.

 Like the potato condo.

I am almost positive that is it dead. We have no idea what went wrong, but when we returned from our week-long vacation, the greenery at the top of the potato box was almost non-existent. This is a complete change from the flourishing, out of control growth we had a few weeks ago. I thought it had good drainage and enough sunlight - it's possible that we may have built up the remaining plank levels too soon and caused too much shade as the sun shifted in the afternoon. Regardless, I've been digging into the potting soil and have yet to find any life. Only marble-sized potatoes at the very bottom and nothing else. They're too small to even pretend that we intended to grow baby potatoes!

 However, the front porch and full-day sun is working very well for our container plants.

Parsley, dill, lemon thyme and a bush bean plant.

Lettuce, basil, more snap peas and monster tomato plants.

Upside down bell peppers and potted eggplants - grow, eggplants, grow!

 Maybe there is enough time left in the season to make another attempt with the potato condo... but if not, I will just have to wait until next year. For now, I'll try to look on the positive side of my "jardin pathetique" and be happy that the snap peas are almost ready to pick and we've already enjoyed radishes, lettuce and a plethora of basil.


  1. hey!! Have you tried making your own compost? Are you permanently in your new location? My parents have 2-3 bins going at a time and it makes a huge difference with their vegetables. It may be the soil that is causing the problem!

  2. I had to leave our composter in Leetsdale, because it was too messy and full to move this winter. This house is only temporary... so I have a really makeshift compost "corner" behind the garage. It won't really be anything useful. When we actually own a house here, I can properly compost and use that soil!