Garden Failure

Well, I’ve been procrastinating. We have been back from vacation for a few days, and I just haven’t had the emotional strength to share my tragic news. My garden is a failure. Almost. I knew it was not doing the greatest before I left for our three-week trek up and down the east coast, but I was heartbroken when I saw my garden upon our return home. The only thing growing is tomatoes and green beans. Out of all those lovely seeds I planted, most of them did not even sprout. Those that did stopped growing when they got to be about two inches off the ground.

I have all sorts of theories why this could have happened. I should have watered more. I was gone for a few weeks and didn’t tend to it. Our soil is probably horrific (we don’t even have grass growing in our yard (just bought our home w/no grass), so why did I think we would be able to grow food?). I could continue to list other reasons, but it doesn’t help the dreadful feeling of failure that wells up every time I look out my window at my pitiful attempt at growing our own food.

I wonder if farmers felt this way when their crop doesn’t turn out how they planned. I have to admit, I don’t know how my spirits could handle being a full-time farmer as an occupation. I feel emotionally connected to my crop. It sounds ridiculous to type it, but it is true.

So, what now? Well, I am leaving in a few minutes to go pick blueberries from someone else’s harvest. I am so thankful other people have mastered the art of farming. Alright, so here’s a serious answer to the “What now?” question that has been taunting me ever since I came home and saw my disastrous garden. I admit, I’ve thought about throwing in the towel. I am afraid that the same thing might happen again next year. After much thought, I realized that this is not something I am going to give up on. I am going to master the art of gardening- even if I have to read about it and make a plan for it during the winter season. I’ve read article after article about people who grow their food throughout the year- indoors if need be. These people inspire me to press on and to continue even if the results are not what I was hoping for.

We bought this house in December and the prior owners did not rake for several years. My husband did a wonderful job getting the leaves up off the ground and so the earth can finally breath again. I am considering a compost bin (complete with worms) so we can get a good layer of topsoil on our ground for next year.

At least I’ll have some green beans and tomatoes this year. The way I see it, all I need to do is have one additional crop next year, and it will already be better than this year’s crop!

Until then, I’ll continue to buy my fruits and veggies at our farmer’s market. I’m going to stock up for the winter now that we are back in town and now that I’ve realized I’m not going to be getting a huge harvest from our own garden. This is how it goes I suppose- living and learning as we go. I just wish it wasn’t so long till I can try having an outdoor garden again.

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5 thoughts on “Garden Failure

  1. Nicole Swinton says:

    Composting is a great idea!

    And have you ever heard of square foot gardening? It’s a really great idea and one of the main points of it is that you don’t use any of your own soil but instead create a mix of various other soils and materials and create container gardens (as large as you want to build). A cousin of ours did it with flowers and produce and has me interested in trying it out next year. Check out this site: http://timssquarefootgarden.com/

    • Nicole Swinton says:

      Also, it’s supposed to help concentrate your crops into a more successful harvest and drastically cut down on watering and weeds. For instance, rather than planting dozens of plants in the hope that one dozen will succeed, you just plant the dozen that you want and since it’s such a controlled environment, the dozen plants will succeed. I think it sounds awesome.

  2. Grace, I will help you this fall prep your garden for next year. And then I can help you in the spring to ensure better crops. I have access to plenty of manure and a variety of it, too. Chicken and goat would be best for the fall while horse and cow would be good in the spring. I’d be so happy to help you!

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