Archive for August, 2012

Well, you can’t win them all. This summer has been brutal to say the least, with Indianapolis setting it’s all-time record for hottest July in recorded history! That, coupled with a water ban, tripled with rampant insect infestations, has left my garden looking rather sorry.

The stink bugs ravaged the bean field, and even went so far as to annihilate any seedlings that I tried to replant.

A humongous hornworm made short order of all three tomato plants.

And as far as the zucchini, squash, and pumpkin patch are concerned, there’s not even any remaining devastation to show for my troubles.

But it hasn’t all been bad.

The potatoes are still growing quite nicely, and starting to spill over the top of their cage.

A few flowers are managing to bloom.

We came out on top with one nicely sized pumpkin to grace our front porch this fall.

And the raspberries plants have proven once again that nothing can kill them at this point!

I still hold out hopes for some cool-weather crops I have planted, including peas and carrots, as well as some impending spinach.

Even so, the season hasn’t been too much of a bust. The worst failures are great learning experiences, and I’ve learned a few important things through this summer’s tribulation:

1. No more expensive mail-order plantlings. My home-grown seedlings outperform every time, even if I never know what to do with all those extra seeds in the seed packet.

2. Only small tomato varieties for me, from here on out. The cherries grow faster, are much more prolific, and are easier to eat than regular or oversized tomatoes.

3. Next year: pre-order some organic pest control.

4. Get that rain barrel hooked up to a downspout! When you go six weeks without seeing a single good rainstorm, you start to kick yourself for not saving what you once had in abundance.

5. Corn seedlings can use a good covering of chicken wire, to keep out the furry prying hands of squirrels.

6. If you see a big beautiful green caterpillar on your tomato plant, don’t spare it out of hope that it will someday turn into something beautiful. It kills your plants and will reward you with the ugliest moth you have ever seen!

7. Carrots need a lot of water and a lot of patience. But they are always worth it.

8. Ground cherries may be prolific and resistant to pests and diseases, but they don’t taste very good.

9. Eat as many blueberries as you can while they are in season.

10. Don’t think for one second that you can buy produce at the grocery store anymore and not be completely disappointed in its taste.

11. If at first you don’t succeed, plant something else, and water the heck out of it.

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