Time has come to revive this long neglected blog. Sometimes one feels that the work of keeping up a personal blog takes too much time and that is what happened to me. Over the past year many things have changed while much has remained the same. What was once a multi-generational family disbanded in July of 2018 after nine years of living together and the family growing. It wasn’t too bad as we still lived in the same small community and grandchildren often spent the night with us. A year later that has come to an end. The young family made a beneficial move out of state. Granted it is the next state over and only a five and a half drive away. But, it does make seeing our daughter and her family a little more difficult and requires more planning. I am happy for them though, this move is a good one for them.
This year I’ve tried to have a container garden for vegetables. The results are mixed. Tomatoes are producing, though not as well as in the past in the same tank. It could be the, timing of planting, location of the tank, the type of plants, one too many plants, or soil treatment that is keeping them from flourishing as well as other years we’ve used that tank for growing tomatoes.
Originally I wanted to do raised bed gardening, but, my husband has been so busy with work and comes home exhausted from his labor intensive job making light poles and traffic arms that he never felt like doing more work when he got home. So I resorted to gathering up 5 gallon buckets and other pots to plant vegetables.
So far those have not been doing as well as I had hoped. I have yet to get bush pickles to set and grow. Every one that forms just turns yellow and falls off I don’t know why. I use the recommended amount of vegetable fertilizer and they get watered when needed. My first attempt at peas didn’t make it at all. Since peas have a short time to maturity I started over, planting them in-ground this time, we’ll see how that turns out. There is a yellow squash at the end of that small space. Last year there was a cucumber plant in that area when we moved in. Honestly I think it was a volunteer. It produced more cucumbers than we could use. There was also a volunteer cherry tomato plant that sprung up, but it did not produce much until the cucumber began dying back, then it flourished. The problem was we had our first frost before we could harvest very many of those tomatoes.
My single bell pepper has only produced one pepper, though there are a few more blossoms right now that I’m hoping will produce fruit. There are four okra plants and only two fruit have matured though there are a few more starting to grow. The beans have had a sad showing. Many blooms but few growing into beans. I haven’t harvested a full serving for one person. The things that are doing well are my chard and lettuces. I’ve been able to get several salads from them and they are continuing to produce.
This year is definitely a learning experience for me. I’ve grown in-ground gardens but never tried container gardening other than the big tank we’ve used for tomatoes several times. One of the things I think is a problem is a lack of pollinators. I finally bought a variety of colorful flowers in an attempt to attract native solitary bees to my garden. I’ve seen a few more of those little bees since I did that. One thing I’ve considered lately is making or buying a bee hotel for the native bees. The problem is I think it’s rather late in the season to set one out. From what I’ve read in researching the subject those things need to be set out in early spring. It’s mid summer now.
Maybe It is a good thing that it’s worked out this way. An abundant harvest may have gone to waste this year. It’s been a painful year. Walking can be challenging at times. I’ve had good and bad days, weeks even. Steroid injections have become ineffective, so, in early September I will be having knee replacement surgery. Concentrating on recovery will be right during the biggest part of harvest season and I don’t think I’d be feeling up to doing much canning and preserving this year.
We will see what the future brings. Maybe next year will be a much more successful gardening year. Until next time …