I am feeling a little inadequate lately. My potato plants are just sprouting, my pea vines don't even need to be tied yet and my beans may be a no-show altogether.
Even my tomato plants, protected under their milk jug cloches are not making a good impression on me.
I watched a video on the Cold Antler Farm site the other day and her potatoes and tomatoes are all doing great. I felt a bit of jealousy and then wondered what I did wrong. Did I wait too long to plant the outdoor things? It was terribly wet here this spring and planting early would have resulted in rotten seeds. But did I wait too long?
If all else fails, we will at least have some strawberries this year. I have a great bunch of plants in the front garden mixed in with roses and peony bushes and I have green soon-to-be berries on all of them. In fact, my task for tonight after the humidity breaks is to get some netting and protect them from the birds that seem to beat me to the fruit every year.
This year those beauties are mine.
As for the rest of things, I put in 45 tomato plants of various varieties last Sunday evening. Brandywine, Cherry, Sungold and plenty of Roma (I want to make sauce this season). I spaced things farther apart this year both in space between plants and row space to avoid the fiasco of last year - too many plants in too small of a space and not enough support lead to plants toppling over each other and a lot of rotten produce. Getting down the rows to pick anything was like going through an obstacle course complete with big spiders. Does anyone else have a problem with spiders trying to live in their tomato plants?
So the tomatoes went in as well as the broccoli and all the gourds, squashes and pumpkins. And the garden is FULL. (I am going to have to expand next year - don't tell Roy).
Being happy with my efforts I pridefully looked out on the results of my hard work so far - starting the seeds, tending the seedlings, keeping the cats away from the seedlings, transplanting, hardening off, and finally planting. Although it looks like I am growing milk jugs right now, they will not need to be on long.
I went to bed happy. Sore, but happy.
But, pride is a strange thing. And this time I was sure it reared its ugly head and bit me right in the backside. I lay in bed that night listening to one of the worst thunderstorms I have experienced in a long time. Constant booming thunder, almost constant lighting, and wind that drove the rain sideways against the house and windows. Did I mention there was hail too? I was sure all my plants would be destroyed. My milk jugs scattered to the next county and nothing left to show of my hard work. I could just hear Roy - "I told you it cost money to run those grow lights and now we will have to buy tomatoes anyway...."
The next day was Memorial Day and the little man and I were getting up early to make the 8:30am Ionia parade. I didn't even look towards the garden since I was sure it was a wreck.
When we got home later that day, I ventured out to assess the damage.
Shocked that pride had in fact not killed my garden, I observed neat little rows of milk jugs and perky little pumpkin sprouts. The broccoli looked like it actually enjoyed the storm - like Lieutenant Dan squaring off from the top of the shrimp boat "Come on! You call this a storm? Blow! It's time for a showdown! You and me! I'm right here! Come and get me!"
I lost one tomato plant.