Sunday, August 7, 2011

Strange time of year for my garden

Every year I run into basically the same problem at this time of year. Everything starts to look scraggly.

This year the squirrel from hell decimated my grape tomato patch. I'm already making my plans of squirrel attack for next year. It involves mouse traps and bells thus far. Spraying the plants with bad tasting stuff didn't make a difference to the bushy rat. If he didn't like the taste of one he just left it on the ground to rot and moved on to the next.

I started a new raised bed for my cucumbers hoping I'd avoid last year's problems but nope, they followed. I have some beautiful cucumbers but I'm in a race against the dwindling vines. They turn yellow, then brown starting at the bottom of the vine. It's working its way upward. I've tried the fungus stuff, fertilizing (but not too much), watering in the morning so they don't get damp at night and have cut off the bad leaves as fast as it happens. Oh, I also tried some industrial strength bug killer (plant safe, made for plants) despite trying to stay organic.

I know I whine a lot on this blog but it is a bit frustrating to put so much effort into getting some decent veggies only to lose so many to a combination of drought with downpours, excessive heat and critters.

I do realize that if I spent more quality time with my garden I could probably avoid some of the problems. Having a garden requires a commitment that I seem to just fall short of reaching.

I'm considering taking a master gardening class, but I'm not sure if that will really result in great veggies. I think maybe next year I'll just pull everything up, work my soil, and give it a break. Although, I do love those grape tomatoes... and cucumbers... and beans... hmmm...