Thursday, August 12, 2010

When Good Gardens Turn Bad

I'm here to officially document the rise and fall of the 2010 TripleCreek Farm garden.

Warning: Some photos in this post may be disturbing to serious gardeners.

I'm just keepin' it real, people.

We typically tend to the garden from March until about August, when we're forced to wave the white flag and abandon it to hibernate through the extreme heat of the summer. But we usually can get a pretty good crop in by that point.

This year was different. We had an all out attack of nature on our garden, on multiple fronts, and were forced to surrender in June. Here is the full series of events, sad as they may be.

Nov 2010. Planted garlic. You can read more about it here.

Feb 2010. Planted cool weather crops. Broccoli, peas and onions. You can read about it more here.

April 2010. Cool weather crops coming up nicely.

May 2010: Peas are in and we plant 30 pepper plants, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, watermelon, about 30 potatoes, carrots, & tomatoes. We suffer through about 6 weeks with no rain. Luckily our automatic watering system keeps the garden going.

June 2010: The garden suffers it's first major attack. Of the chickens! As soon as the garden starts to produce, the chickens move in for a feast. Every time we turned around, a chicken would run off with a tomato in it's beak. They also ate entire zucchinis, and any cucumber within reach. The only safe crops were the peppers (guess chickens don't care for habaneros) and the underground crops.

So we decided we needed to secure the perimeter. I bought a cute white picket fence that Jason hastily puts up, unfortunately I don't get nearly enough. By the time I get more, the 2nd force of nature has moved in, and that is the amazon heat. The entire month of June had temps at least 10 degrees above normal, mostly in the upper 90's close to 100.

The rest of the fence never gets installed because we are forced into early hibernation in the A/C. We turned on the automatic waterer, turned our backs on the garden, leaving it to fend for itself, the best it could. Bless it's heart.

July 2010: We are gone for weeks at a time, on vacation and to summer camps and the heat continues. We occasionally venture into the garden, but not too often. The dragon carrots survive. Zucchini, squash, tomatoes, and garlic are dead and gone.

August 2010: What's left of our garden. The weeds have taken over. The peppers are still hanging in, the bugs got the potatoes, and there is something strange growing in the tomato cages. It's thriving actually. I have no idea what it is.

Anyone have any idea what this vine plant is?

So there it is. The good, the bad and the ugly.
We'll try again next year!

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