Thursday, April 27, 2017

Things that aren't working

Any growing season has some things that just don't work out.  That's to be expected.  You learn to take them in stride because the successes outnumber the failures.   The growing season is just beginning but already I'm seeing a lot of plants doing well.  The overwintered spinach and lettuce have been producing consistently, garlic is looking great, the strawberries in the pallet planter are growing, asparagus is sending up shoots, and most of the seedlings are off to a good start.

That said, there will always be some failures, and that's what this post is about.  First off, the apple trees.  Like much of the country, here in the midwest we got a very early warm spell followed by a hard freeze.  The buds on the Fuji tree survived and flowered.  The Golden Delicious buds did not and the tree managed just a few flowers on one branch.  Without cross-pollination, it's unlikely that there will be any apples coming to fruit.  Nothing I can do about that.

It's still too early for insect or fungal infestations.  Most of the damage being caused is from animals with fur.  A mole made its pophole right in the middle of the parsnip planting.  That I could live with, but then a neighbor's dog decided to investigate:

The raspberry plants had not been doing much, and now I know why.  This looks like the work of the cottontail.   The rabbits that I raise love any bramble, so these domestic berry plants with fuzz-like thorns must be especially appealing to their wild cousins.  The raspberry patch is the farthest bed from the house and they must feel safe enough to raid it.  I'm hoping that as other tempting plants become available the bunnies will move on to greener pastures.

I'm growing a new variety of onion this year, Pontiac.  The seedlings did not transplant well, leaving a lot of gaps in the patch.  If it turns out to be a good onion I will probably grow it again next year.  I'll have to seed more though in order to have spares for the ones that don't make it.  Still I expect to get a decent crop of onions, just not as much as I hoped for.

Growing lettuce in a self-watering container has always given me lots of lettuce, until this year.  The lettuce never looked right, and after I moved the Earthbox out of the coldframe it worsened.  Last week I pulled all of it out.  The lettuce never established a root system of any consequence.  In the past the roots would completely fill the box.  Another set of seedlings went into one side of the SWC, and the other side was seeded directly.  Was it the potting mix?  Everything else has done well in this mix.  I guess I'll never know.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

It's so true - the season always starts off looking perfect but it usually doesn't take very long before we experience the first setback. Looks like we will both be in for a late lettuce harvest this year - I've just started some more seeds as some of the seedlings that I transplanted are iffy at best.

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