This Impossible Garden

August Update!

Well, here it is…August already. The garden was a mix of success and failure, with the balance leaning more to failure.

Before I got it all planted, I broke my foot and that slowed me down….the bunnies made themselves at home so I worked hard wrapping the garden fence with deer netting to keep it/them out (note: I just realized I told about this in a previous post). That was a little bit of a failure, partly because of two areas I wasn’t able to complete.

When I do come across the tiny little critter he/she bolts out of the garden, sometimes through the unfinished areas, but also sometimes through the fortified areas…don’t ask me how. The parts I didn’t complete with deer netting, I had instead used green plastic fencing that resembles snow fence. No way he could fit through those 2 inch squares. But guess what.imag0328 He had no problem nipping them so they were now 2×4 inch squares. I have seen no signs of that happening with the deer netting.

So anyway, the beans were wiped out when they were only a couple inches tall. I replanted some of them before I realized what I was dealing with and I don’t know what happened but I never saw any bean seedlings. Probably the bunny ate them before I ever saw them or birds ate them before they got to germinate. I really don’t know. Also I never finished planting the last couple rows I wanted to plant. Then….the weeds took over!

As I replied to a comment on a previous post “Part of the problem is the weeds in the garden are so far out of control that it gives the little critters plenty of room to hide…so they have all kinds of choices within the fenced area and they’re somewhat protected from predators as well.”

I’m sure other critters have been in there too. I saw a gray puff of fur just outside the garden but it saw me and took off before I could ID it. I suspected a vole or mole. Chipmunks and mice live here as well.

A woodchuck visited early in the summer but I have seen no signs of them revisiting. It was around the time when I started fortifying and when it ran out, it was stuck between the fence and netting for a minute or so. I walked up to within a couple yards of it and I think he thought he was a goner. But I walked away to see if he would be able to escape on his own and he did, so maybe that was too close a call for him to try again. They do seem to be fairly intelligent animals. By the way, I zip-tied the netting to the fence to help prevent anybody getting caught in there again.

So…losses by critter:



Damage to some pepper plants


Damage to some marigolds (really!)

More beans!

Slow growing:

Cayenne and Habanero, and some have died

All the squashes, and some have died as well

Cukes (but seem to be stepping it up now)

The potatoes never grew that big before they died back so I’m not sure if they died back for the normal reason or some other reason. I’m going to dig them soon and see if there is a harvest and how much of one. The potatoes in the grass catchers also had died back and I harvested a whole bunch of small but delicious beautiful red potatoes.

Tomatoes are doing better than they have in years, other than the occasional blossom end rot. I’m starting to see possible slight signs of that disease I’ve been struggling with but these hybrids seem to have been resistant so far, or it’s just finally going away. Ha! I also suspect I did a good thing by growing earlier varieties as well. Problem with some though, is there is a hard white core making the fruits almost completely inedible. This was the Farm Stand and it coincided with the blossom end rot on the Best Boys. So I’m hoping the issue (the damn weather this summer maybe) will resolve itself and I’ll get good tomatoes now. I’m just glad that other thing seems to be lessened or gone! Stay tuned.

Scallions and green onions have been very successful. I keep meaning to plant more but between the weather and my foot (mostly the weather) I haven’t done so yet so I’m running out of them.

I planted three varieties of lettuce in large pots on the patio. They were good in my salads. Next time I think I need to find a shadier spot for them – they got a little sun scalded but they also might be planning to bolt. It was nice while it lasted, and might not be the end yet.

The Jalapeno peppers grew well, have lots of peppers on but the peppers seem to have stopped getting any bigger. Maybe I need to pick the biggest ones and give the smaller ones and new ones a better chance.


The bell peppers are in a similar situation to the Jalapenos but the one pepper rotted before it got big enough. Lots of blossoms and little or no peppers. There’s another hopeful one I’m keeping an eye on but all in all, bell peppers are yet another fail. The Red Fresnos are doing ok – I’ve begun harvesting them. I planted 20 plants I think, but lost a few. I think at least one of them, I might have put fertilizer too close.

I have rarely used fertilizer before so I’m not experienced at it. I’m wondering if it has caused some of this year’s problems. It made such a difference last year I tried it again this year but I used a different brand (couldn’t find the same one as last year), plus I never got around to getting the mulch like last year – maybe THAT made the difference. No doubt, since we’re in a drought and even daily watering with the hose hasn’t seemed like enough. Maybe that’s the WHOLE problem or a combo of all the above.

Oh yeah! Birdhouse gourds are looking promising. Not food, but I’ll take what I can get.

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