garden fits and other failures

lets talk about crop failures, because i wouldn’t want to give the impression that it’s all marvellous, this self-sufficiency lark. It’s not, it’s bloody hard work, the weather is relentless at both ends of the spectrum, too much water when you don’t need it, none, when you do and currently no way of harvesting it without pulling the house builder off of house building duties.

Autumn, spring and winter veggies are easy enough but the summer stuff is difficult when you have to eek out what little water you have, I have created shade in the garden and I mulch where I can with what little I have, but now there is too much shade (ironic!!)shade
so my second sewings of parsnips and carrots look a little bit miserable, the first sewings are ok

carrots

parsnips

we’ve had some thinnings from the first sewn carrots and what’s left will probably last about another month

The peas were a complete failure, I sewed three varieties this year, none of which flowered, they got a kind of powdery mildew and I had a fit and ripped them all up!!

The Uchiri Kuri pumpkins are tiny, something ate the flowers, the ones that survived were already climbing up some beans poles, but whatever ate the pumpkin flowers didn’t eat the butternut squash flowers, of which I have about 20

squash

The globe artichokes never got fat enough to eat so we’ve just left them to seed and look nice, the bees love them

artichoke

One courgette plant survived and has given us enough, there’s always too many anyway, so am relieved there aren’t anymore

courgette

Out of 7 cucumber plants I’ve had about 7 cucumbers, not a great return i don’t think

cucumber

I have done three sewings of cut and come again salad leaves, all self collected from last year and mostly rocket, it’s done well with the shade, so at least something likes itsalad
I’ve got 4 varieties of tomatoes, san marzano, which is doing very badly and has blossom end rot, red alert, a new variety to me which is doing very well, cherry tomatoes and money maker both of which are slow to produce and certainly not ripening yet

toms

the onions were actually great, despite my initial disapointment, we’ve ended up with about 25 kilos of mixed red and white, but still not enough for a whole year

onions3and the garlic not too bad either
onions4
the broad beans were a disaster, mice ate the seed, three times, I gave up, I even soaked some seed in paraffin and they ate that too!! the beetroot was rubbish and I had a fit with that too and threw it all away, yes, I’ve had a lot of fits in the garden this year!!!!

The stanley plum, planted in memory of our first dear dog is having it’s second year of fruiting, they are such a beautiful colour
plums

we also have our first apples, the apple trees were planted 5 years ago and all bar one have fruited for the first time this year, finally

apples

I know I’m not doing too much wrong, I can’t get the nutrients I need into the soil and that is the main problem, I am considering changing the garden again, as we both mature together, I can see that I have been trying to create a garden that I would have liked in the UK and it just isn’t working here, so back to the drawing board and several more fits no doubt and eventually I’ll either die or the garden will!!

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6 Responses to garden fits and other failures

  1. tidzywoo says:

    I hope my garden is as productive as yours one day! We shoved a few things in when we arrived 3 months ago, some have done ok but my tomatoes got blossom end rot too, do you know what causes it? Catherine x

  2. I posted this on FB (I love your posts, hope you don’t mind!) and a good friend who works with nature at a different level, strongly suggested you look into the work of Machaelle Small Wright
    http://www.perelandra-ltd.com/
    – she specifically has a book avaialble, on working with gardens/growing. She’s not your average permaculturist, in fact I don’t think she talks about that at all. However, my friend Martin in Scotland highly recommends book for the things you’ve had issues with – its apparently available as a downloadable cd (at a more affordable price) and you can check Martin out here, he offers a guarantee on his stuff as he uses it all himself,
    http://www.panosun.org/B-117.html
    I don’t work for either of them, hope you don’t mind me suggesting this – but I’ve read most of Machaelle’s books,and MArtin may well be right – there may be something about how you are working with your garden at an energetic level which could benefit from her advice.
    My feeling on this – I needed to share it with you, as it might be what you need. You can take a look at Machaelle, and Martin, and see if the ideas/concepts resonate, and take it further if they do.

    • Thanks for the tips wendy, i have book marked both sites, i’m thinking forest garden with some spaces in the sun which i can get more nutrients into, it’s nearly there, i just need to leave it for a bit i think and see what shapes i have and what happens when i don’t do anything!!! hard not to fiddle though, i am a fiddler!!

  3. Lucia Moreno says:

    We too are having a very hard year in the mountains near Madrid. The winter was cold and dry and then we had a very hot and dry spring, and now a very hot and dry summer. We had to start watering plants in May, when in our land usually in May it’s pretty wet (we have springs). We planted 130 trees this fall and we think about 100 have died. A frost on May 18th killled all the vegetable garden but peas and lettuce. Now, tomatoes are not fruiting because it’s so hot the pollen dies. I have shaded the vegetable garden with a cloth. We have spent most of our big water reservoir (we never even spent half of it before) and we don’t know if we will have enough water until it (hopefully) starts raining in September. We, too have a land that’s starving for nutrients, but our car died and we need to buy one before we start houling manure again. It’s hard not to be discouraged, but we must take heart!
    Cheers,
    Lucía

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