Friday, September 19, 2008

The state of my garden

Here's one of my pumpkin flowers. At the time I took this picture, I was still hopeful that I would see at least one little pumpkin. When I say "little" pumpkin, I mean those miniature pumpkins that come in the bag with the ornamental gourds. Well, I watched this plant grow from tiny seedlings and I was impressed with how much it grew. I even saw a tiny green little pumpkin and I got excited about having that one pumpkin, but some critter made off with it. Well, I think a critter took it because it disappeared.

Here are my strawberries. I was delighted to see the bigger one ripening slowly to its red color, but I never got to see it turn completely red because once again a critter stole it. So, what have I learned from this season's pathetic little garden?? Well, for one thing, I've learned that no matter how vigilant I am about watching my plants as soon as I turn my back, a chipmunk or a squirrel will steal everything. I literally photographed those strawberries and had them stolen the very same hour.

I've learned that even if you prop your grape tomato plants up with old knitting needles, the rainstorms will win and both your knitting needles and tomato plants will be destroyed.

I've learned that I have to start the seeds indoors sooner. I planted everything too late.

I've learned that just when you see a small bounty of cherry peppers (that are still green), they will be harvested by some animal that has easy access to your deck.

I've learned that two unripe strawberries is not enough for home-made jam anyway. I'm sure the squirrel or chipmunk needed them for winter storage.

The carrots never really got going. Everyday that I looked in the pot I was sure that I saw tiny footprints in there.

I planted several sunflower seeds just hoping I'd get one or two mammoth flowers, but I'm sure the stellar's jays and chickadees had something to do with that too.

So, next year, I will abandon the container gardening pots on the deck and create something critter proof.

On a happy note, I did discover that I have wild strawberry plants that I had never noticed before. I'm sure that I hadn't noticed them before because at the time I couldn't identify their leaf pattern. I suppose they're called alpine strawberries and I managed to find a few of the miniscule berries before they were all eaten by the squirrels, chipmunks, birds and maybe even a bear. Who knows??

I won't give up even though gardening at my altitude has many challenges.

As for my jam plan? I broke down and bought $27 worth of organic raspberries and made freezer jam last week.


MaryM said...

I'm sory about your garden woes. That is discouraging.

Jennifer said...

I don't know if this was intended to be funny, but I do admit to laughing a bit. My husband works in the gardening business and I did as well for almost 10 years. I can't grow pumpkins. People throw the seeds in their yard and end up with great big beautiful pumpkins and I get squash vine borers every single year. And never, ever enough strawberries to make the space worth it. I think it is worth going through the process anyway, but I cringe everyone talks about their lovely home grown pumpkins.
So don't take it personally if you didn't get a huge harvest! We know exactly what we are doing and still have plenty of failures.