The first day of summer has come and gone. In my part of the world, the weather this year has been questionable, to say the least. Too hot, too cold, too much rain, too much sun. Ah, the perils of being a gardener. It is, in fact, the problems that we, as humans, have had since we first learned how to cultivate crops.
So, how is your garden doing this year? I must admit that my vegetable garden, which I grow in containers, got off to a slow and rocky start this year. A very slow start.
This year, life, as sometimes happens, got in the way. I purchased all the vegetable plants I had intended to grow. I had neglected to start any of my own seeds this year because of time constraints. So I let the professionals do that and simply purchased their ready-to-plant seedlings. I had good intentions all around.
Then the weather changed and it was too cold and I didn’t get things planted out in their grow pots… They sat in the utility room for way too long. Then I had to be out of town for a while, so they sat some more… By the time I finally got my poor little seedlings safely replanted into their permanent homes, it was very late! They were overgrown and gangly and crying for more room.
So I gave them good soil, put them in pots large enough for their roots to expand, and treated them to some good fertilizer. They seemed happy. But, the truth is, they will not do as well as they might have if I had but planted them when I should have. Plants, like humans, have internal clocks. Most of those little plant-timmers are triggered by the seasons and sunlight and temperature. Plants, one of the major kingdoms that has been on earth much longer than humans, ‘know’ what is best for them. We simply need to give them what they require.
I did not do that this year. It didn’t fit into my schedule. Therefore, I got no spinach. It bolted as the temperatures rose to the point where the plants said ‘it’s too hot now. I’m done for the season’. And they were! Likewise, my mesclun mix of lettuces did not do well. They don’t like the heat either. However, my eggplant is doing great. As are my tomatoes and peppers. They do like the heat. As long as I give them lots of nice, cool water.
Every year, as I garden, I take note of all the things I might do to improve my skills. Next year, my goal will be simply to get my plants in the ground at the appropriate time! That shouldn’t be too hard. Should it?
How has your garden done this year and what insights have you gained?