Pepper Problem: Not so much problems as failure. I direct seeded and they did not come up. I have a 15-by-25 foot garden lush with plants, but none of the three varieties of peppers sprouted.
Seed budgeting: This might be the fault of the seeds of the month club, but I seem to collect honeydew, melon, and tomato seed packets in duplicate. Meanwhile, things I need to replant, like beans, spinach, radishes and lettuce never seem to come frequently enough. I may have to go to the store.
Weeding: We’ve all done it, gotten behind a bit and found a mess.
Failure to fence: I lost two bean plants early on to a rabbit because I wasn’t quick enough to get the fence up.
Tiller stall: I left my Merry Tiller in the rain after mixing in compost from the Amherst, New York Composting Facility this spring. The tiller now refuses to start. Carburetor appears fine but no spark. Pulling the flywheel to get to the points will be a winter job.
Climbing structures: Metal fence posts work fine. The beans are climbing them perfectly. The lattice of bailing wire between the posts, however, the beans show no interest in.
Artichokes: I tried and failed for about the 10th time to get artichokes to grow in a Zone 5 garden.
First pickings: Lettuce, spinach, beets, are offering forth modest yields. Remember the greens are the best part of the radish, beet and turnip plants.
Second seedings: I’ve-planted more of the above. The first batch will be done yielding in another few weeks. Second seeding will lead to a continued harvest into September.
Reading the packages: I took my own advice and followed planting depths, seed spacing and thinning instructions to the letter. Higher yields and healthier plants are the result.
Fertilizer: Dried cow manure, $5 for a 30-pound bag. Beautiful and healthy plants appear to be the result of that manure and the aforementioned compost.
Water: We are bordering on drought conditions in our region. My sprinkler is set up to reach every corner. I’ve kept it on for 30 minutes almost daily.
Weeding: My trusty hoe is my constant companion, crutch and weed cutter. Staying ahead is the key.
Experimenting: This is a forgiving hobby. You don’t need to be an expert but to just have the gumption to try. If everything you do works perfectly, it probably means you aren’t taking enough chances.
To quote Mark Twain:
“In twenty years, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the things you did. So throw off the bowlines.... Explore, Dream, Discover…”
Joe Genco is a tenacious vegetable gardener and contributing writer to Mike the Gardener Enterprises, LLC. He works as a financial advisor by day. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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