Gardening Woes

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This has been quite a year so far, hasn’t it?  I know that many across the nation have suffered with snow, cold, wet, flooding, storms and all kinds of weird weather that makes planting crops and gardens a struggle.

In our area, there are still fields that have not even been plowed for planting yet.  I think the farmers are not even going to attempt planting them at this late stage.  Most crops should have been planted by the first of May, for crying out loud!  Fortunately, even the late crops that have been planted are coming up and will hopefully catch up for a good harvest.

The gardens are in the same position.  It’s been a struggle to prepare the soil to plant.  The farm that Norm works at has a “heritage” garden that is in the basement of a house shell.  The walls of the nearly destroyed basement makes a good shelter and holds the heat in for excellent growth.  However, until just last week, it had about a foot of water so that planting was impossible early on, like desired.

Here at home, we have three raised beds.  We plant a few things – tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuces, swiss chard, squash.  I am not a gardener … my back and knees plus bee allergies keep me out of the garden most of the time, so Norm does most of the work there.  And he is busy with gardening at the Farm as well as the many projects that need to be done in both places.  So our garden is limited to what he can handle for weeding and harvesting.  (Once it gets inside, it’s my job to process.)  We have tried potatoes but they are always a disaster and we don’t get enough to make it worthwhile.  We don’t plant beans or peas because we don’t eat them that often.

This year the raised beds have been neglected … there was so much to do after all the snows that Norm has not been able to get the beds cleaned up.  Once he had time, the rains started and it was too muddy to dig them up.  Then it was too cold to plant.  And on and on and on for the many reasons to not plant.

All of a sudden, it was nearly the first of May and we hadn’t even gotten our tomato plants purchased.  I cannot raise plants from seeds .. I have tried for a million years and have given up.  If we plant them in the garden, they will come up.  If I plant them inside for transplanting outside, it’s a waste of seeds, soil and pots.  And my black thumb works for Norm, as well.  If he plants them and cares for them, all I have to do is breathe on the pots for the plants to shrivel and die.

So, here it is the end of May – no tomato plants purchased, nothing but lettuce and swiss chard in the garden.  What to do?

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After much discussion, we have decided to limit “our” gardening (well, I DO supervise!) to just a few easy crops.  We will have cucumbers … gotta have those pickles you know … lettuces, and squash.  Plus I finally convinced Norm to let me have pumpkins this year.  I have been asking for years and he’s been objecting .. but we have several hills of them.  What I’m going to do with them is another matter … a few for us, a few for our granddaughters … maybe sell them at a Farmers’ Market?  But I will have them .. that’s the important thing.

As far as tomatoes, I will get them from Farmers’ Markets so that I can “put by” my sauces for the winter.  The same with potatoes … I am looking for someone who sells them in this area so that we don’t have to get some from the store.  We don’t have room for sweet corn so I’m hoping that the Farm will be able to supply the room for that crop.  Otherwise we will have to get our corn at the Farmers’ Market, as well.

Yes, it’s a limited crop but it will work.  And we are hoping that the limited crops will grow in this strange weather.  A person will have to do what a person is allowed to do to get by in these times, correct?  Here’s hoping YOUR gardens will do well in your area!

About cpthegreat

Connie (aka Spinning Grandma) lives on Ash Lane Farm in southwest Minnesota. She is an expert on spinning, weaving and knitting and a former history interpreter.

3 thoughts on “Gardening Woes

  1. I really enjoy reading your notes. Your so right the weather is crazy this year. Here in the deep south the farmers got everything planted on time but we are in a severe drought and it’s all dying. The corn is burnt up and almost dead in every field we pass. Add to that the north not being able to plant because of too much rain, I hate to see how much more the food prices are going to rise this year. Good luck on your garden, mine is surviving (barely) only because I water it every day.

  2. Just came in from giving my garden a little water (not enough since it is already over 100) but that is all I can handle right now. Sure would be nice if God would send showers to West Texas.