Gardening Problems, Solutions, and Update
I’ve been so busy putting together my new fall planting schedule that I’ve fallen behind on giving garden updates. As I compared the pictures to my last update, I was amazed at how much everything grew, and so quickly. This week I’ll take more pictures and you can see how things are looking today!
Here is my south-west box–from left to right I have cucumbers (on the trellis), onions, carrots, onions, broccoli (in the back), cilantro (going to seed), and lettuce. I am letting the cilantro go to seed, because I tried that last year and had so much fantastic cilantro in the spring! All my plants were small, so I got lots of cilantro before things got too crowded.
PROBLEM: Onions falling over
As you can see, some of my onions started falling over.
SOLUTION: Let them fall
When the onions start tipping over it means it’s getting time to harvest them, so I “helped” the rest. I’ll leave them this way for a week or two, until the tops are brown. That’s when I harvest them, and then let them dry for a week or two in the sun.
PROBLEM: Too hot for peas, potatoes
This garden box had my peas, but it finally got too hot for them to grow. If you look closely you can see my dead pea plants on the ground right in front of this garden bed! What’s left is potatoes.
SOLUTION: Leave the peas for shade
Here is my new Easy Garden box, and things are flourishing! On the left are beets (see below), then tomatoes and green beans. I also had some Mother’s day flowers that I planted, and they spread and multiplied a ton! The left corner that is empty is where I planted a bunch of herbs–they didn’t do as well. I think I just now have a tiny oregano plant. Well, next year I’ll start those inside!
PROBLEM: Brown beets
Check out my sad, sad beets. Every time I plant beets I have had this type of result, which is discouraging.
I did a little research, and beets are relatively unharmed by bugs and disease. The only problem they have is a lack of boron. I bought some Borax and dusted it over the soil. This is supposed to help–I’ll let you know! (BTW, I found the Borax in the laundry section.)
This is my middle-east garden bed. I had a “volunteer” growing in the corner, and I left it to see what would grow (see below).
PROBLEM: Tomato plants not growing well
I have noticed that these tomatoes are not as green, full, and tall as the ones in the north-east bed.
SOLUTION: Move sprinkler head
I realized that my lawn sprinklers water this and the south-east bed, which is actually inhibiting the growth of my tomatoes. So, I need to dig them up, move them, and put on different nozzles. Yep, because I have all sorts of time for projects like that . . .
So the “volunteer” plant is some type of summer squash. But I think it’s from a seed that went into my compost, because the color and shape are different from anything I’ve planted before. In the end I pulled this plant–it was blocking the sun from my tomatoes and the squash was not very good.
And here is my trellised cherry tomato plant, and 12 pepper plants. The tomato needs a little pruning, and the peppers were not thriving.
PROBLEM: Poor pepper plants
My peppers were small, yellow, with dark purple on the leaves. I fertilized them, but did not see much improvement.
My cousin gave me this simple recipe for feeding tomatoes and peppers, and it WORKED WONDERS on my pepper plants! Last year I did this and fertilized all at once so I couldn’t tell which one was the magic. Now I know–it’s the eggs!
Save your eggshells (I saved mine all winter), let them dry out, and crush them up. Add to water (2 dozen eggshells to 2 quarts water) and let sit overnight. Water the peppers (and tomatoes) with the water, and discard the shells. Within 2 weeks my peppers were growing big, flowering, and producing peppers.