Thursday, July 7, 2011

The "not so good" news

I did find a photo of one of my watermelon plants. I think they really look a little better than this photo indicates. I consider even having healthy watermelon plants a success story but that is not exactly my point today.

In my experience, the successes you get from gardening inevitably come with some failures. Pictured above is a kind of success but time will tell if it will be a success. It won't be a success unless we have melons to eat.

We do have a couple of failures so far. First, our corn. We didn't have any success there. I can't imagine it was our choice of corn, Silver Queen. That is a tested variety. It just didn't grow like it should have, even with plenty of fertilizer. Then we had either a crow or squirrel attack (or a combination of both). They pretty much decimated our corn. We had to go ahead and pick what corn we had so that the predators didn't get what was left. There wasn't very much to pick. We definitely need to learn to grow corn!

We also have had to replant our yellow squash. Though we worked very hard to prevent squash vine borers, we didn't do a good enough job. We have decided to plant more. It is hard to see but they are on each side of our okra. We will keep planting until we have some yellow squash.

We have some farmer friends who lost all our their squash plants to vine borers, and they don't even garden organically. I think this is a real problem for all farmers in our area. I am sure we will eventually come up with a solution but these are very devastating pest.

Also, the weather has been a very negative factor. Our beans are doing very good but are attacked by pests. We are barely able to keep them at bay. Our tomatoes are good but not great. I think the weather has been a factor there, too.

Our cucumbers, carrots, a success. Our okra looks great but not bearing, yet.

All in all it is worth it, though it is quite a fight against the elements and especially the pests. I can say I believe in growing food with no pesticides but it is a struggle. I think on the days we "win," it is great, when the pests "win" it can be a little depressing, but not enough to give up.

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