dctrud's Random Road

Occasional unimportant nonsense.

2020-05-05 - Gardening Fail

Since we have lived in houses with a garden I've enjoyed doing some gardening. It's relaxing and nice to be outside digging, planting, weeding, mowing away from the computer. At our last house we had a couple of raised beds in the back yard planted up with bell peppers, tomatoes, jalapenos and onions. There was a bit too much in the Texas sun for the tomatoes, which would split their skins from drying out too much between waterings, but the jalapenos and especially the bell peppers delivered a bountiful harvest. I really didn't take much care of them, and they survived some pretty strong storms and very hot dry spring and summer days.

We moved house to a new-build in 2015. One problem with a new-build is the yard is a blank canvas with not much but a plain lawn put back after the plot is re-graded. We have a few nice old trees as the house was built on the site of a much older property that burned down, but it has taken a few years to find time to just make a couple of flower beds, setup a compost heap, and the like.

This year I was keen to do a bit more, and put together 2 raised beds in the back yard. They get quite a bit of sun, but the light is part-filtered by the shadow of a cedar tree in the hottest part of the day - which should be a good thing. They sit at the top of a slope, drain nicely, and I've kept them watered. Our neighborhood sits on a slope, and they are sheltered from the worst of the storm winds. Netting has gone up to keep off animals and birds. I planted directly, or from seedlings started indoors, some carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, spring onions.

All the right conditions seem to be in place this time but everything has failed to grow well, and much hasn't grown at all. Some things came up, then died. I have some surviving bell pepper and jalapeno plants but they are barely growing. Some tomato plants have grown a bit, but are now quickly being eaten.

Not sure what has gone wrong, and it's a shame we won't have much of our own veg this year. There's another chance to plant some things at the end of the summer for autumn, and to see if I have more luck then! It's still fun to get outside and have a go, whatever happens.

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