Sunday, July 5, 2009

the simple art of over watering

Yes, I believe I have actually accomplished the exact opposite of what I set out to do - over water my garden. If not that, then I am perplexed. The tomato plants look weary but the water meter says wet. I'm feeling just a wee discouraged on one hand and on the other, well, a bit like I may possibly be on my way to becoming a real gardner. Why? Well, because I know that in reality I'm not alone. That's the good news. The bad news is what now?

I run through the checklist in my head, soil, compost, fertilizer, mulch, too much or too little sun. Well, I know there's too little sun because I live just a couple miles from the coast. Our mornings, often into mid afternoon, are filled with gray skies and cool temps. What was I thinking packing eight heirloom tomato plants in my happy boxed beds? I don't know?! Maybe that people in England have tomatoes, too? 

My pepper plants have peppers on them that are bigger then the plant itself! Well, let me clarify - they each have ONE pepper on them. Since each pepper plant sports a different kind of pepper - well you get the picture. Not much you can do with just one pepper. My lettuce is insufficient at best. In fact, I think that were I to make a sandwich and need lettuce, that currently each head would be just enough for one sandwich. My eggplant has one, well, eggplant on it that I eventually had to pick off because it was weighing the darn plant down - no new buds on the horizon. I'm going to translate that to probably no more eggplant on the horizon either. My sugar snap peas grew just enough for a snack - for one. My squash isn't even growing! What's up when your squash won't grow? Anyone can grow squash! Well, I'm here to tell you apparently that is not a true statement. My strawberries are just starting to bloom - although I do believe the season is somewhat over? My beets are still just one beet ..the one I planted.....My chives are wimpy, my celery has not budged, my potatoes pooped out (although we did have enough for one meal, my tomatillos have given their all, my parsley could better be called 'sparsley' and my basil still comes from the grocery at $9.00 a sprig! This garden was suppose to save me money! ...oh, I'm not happy. Is this because I wanted to be organic?

The good news I suppose is that we have two seasons here in Southern California. I can always try again and quite possibly have success. Then I'll have next summer to look forward to. One way or the other I'll figure out this garden business and be able to fulfill my dream of sharing my bounty and bumper crops with friend and family or spend all my hard earned money on produce at the farmer's market! As is stands now, I'll have to sneak the only red tomato on the vine and tell the rest of the family that a raccoon must have eaten it!

If any of you reading this has any advice for me, I would sure appreciate it!


  1. It sounds like you'll have one very hard earned, and expensive, tomato at the end of it all, but then again, it is So. California and you just never know what will happen in July or August when the sun shines more brightly. I do not have a green thumb so I'm no help at all. All ican do is wish you luck and.... maybe i'll bump in to you at the Farmer's Market :-)

  2. I wish I knew what to suggest. Your intentions were good. What about the soil? Timing of the planting? You are right you can grow these things all over the world so surely it cant be just the lack of sun. I would got to the local plant store and ask them for tips. I wish my Dad was here and I would ask him he has been growing vege gardens for years with great success, hail, wind or sun. I think the fact you got them to grow at all is a great start personally. Soemtimes it takes a while I thought for the ground to get used to housing the crops but I dont really know what I am talking of luck and think you are fabulous for going organic. Keep trying.

  3. Hello, I just wanted to leave a comment to say how much I've enjoyed reading your post today.

    I love reading your blog - thank you very much for sharing your pictures and thoughts !