Thursday, September 11, 2014

Things My Garden Just Won't Do

I talk a lot about my garden successes on this blog (and show pictures of them, like the one on the right), which might inadvertently create the impression that I always know what I'm doing out there.  So, from time to time, I find it cathartic to admit that there are some things that my garden just won't do:

My garden won't grow pumpkins:  I've tried to grow pumpkins about half of the years we've lived here, and I can't do it.  I've tried plants, commercial seed, seed I've saved from heirlooms, and seed I've started in the greenhouse.  To date, I've harvested precisely one pumpkin in 13 summers.  I give.

My garden won't grow melons:  Likewise, I've tried to grow cantaloupe and watermelons several times, and I've never harvested a single fruit.  I think it has to do with me giving the tomatoes and cucumbers the sunniest spots, leaving the melons in slightly more dappled shade.  But you'd think I'd get something out of them occasionally.  Again, I'm done.

My carrots are always squat:  I know better than to try to grow eight-inch carrots around here with Ohio's clay soil, but even the beds that I carefully mix with peat moss and sand still give me short, fat little carrots.  I've taken to growing only container varieties to quell the disappointment.

Cucumber beetles and powdery mildew are a way of life:  Although I employ every organic method to delay and prevent the onset of these two scourges, they almost always take my cucumbers and zucchini in the end.  This year, I delayed losing plants until well into August.  Last year was the first year I didn't have any plants at all succumb to beetles and mildew.  I'd never seen a cucumber vine die a natural death before that, and I was kind of amazed.

Is there anything your garden just won't grow?  Commiserate in the comments!
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