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Failure

I admit it.  I've been avoiding blogging because I hate to admit failure.  But in the interest of full disclosure and learning from my gardening mistakes and blah, blah, blah, now I'm owning up to some not so successful experiments this year: 
1. I suck at growing sweet corn.
2. I suck at growing pumpkins.
3. I suck at growing strawberries.
4. I am a mediocre grower of squash.

If you read my early season blogs, you may have noticed that these are all the crops in my Back 40 garden.  You know, the one that if I kinda squint at it, I just see green stuff and pretend it's not weeds needing pulling.  Once again, that garden proved too easy to ignore this year.  We did finally procure some straw two weeks ago and I gave my zucchini, acorn, and butternut squash hills a decent weeding and a generous layer of straw mulch.  They are already rewarding me w/ flowers and the promise that I might actually still get to eat zucchini bread this summer.

Sweet corn is tasseling but the leaves slightly chlorotic and no doubt needed fertilizer.  Note to self: till in a crapload of cow manure compost from university lab farm before planting corn next year.  The block of ten rows looks great, and probably is cross-pollinating nicely compared to if I'd done just a few rows like usual.  And we've gotten pretty regular rains this year, so maybe we will eat still eat some of our own corn.  I have hope. 

Pumpkins are a horrible weedy mess.  I am to blame.  I am busy.  When I am not raising a little person, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry or running around meeting w/ lost garden souls and designing their landscapes, I am sleeping for maybe 7 hrs a night.  Lazy, I know.  7 hours!

I am completely embarassed to admit the following (but on the other hand still somewhat proud of our resourcefulness and not really caring what my retired, nothing-better-to-do-all-day-long, old man neighbor and other folks of his annoyingly perfect gardener type think, so here goes): In the absence of a working tiller (Bernie 'blew it up' - his words, not mine), Bernie weed whipped between the corn rows and around the pumpkin hills in the Back 40 about a month ago.  It still looks absolutely horrible but at least the weeds aren't going to seed and the pumpkins got a bit of a headstart on them before they grow back... What can I say?  Desperate times call for desperate power tools.

On the other hand, the potager garden next to the house which I a forced to look at every day and therefore pull weeds in whenever I walk by is in much better shape.  Yes, it looks overcrowded and not as artistic as I thought the plantings would be when I planned them, but whatever, I can eat tomatoes that taste like tomatoes and that's what's important.  Thank God, I am not a total gardening failure, yet: 


Holy tomato plants, Batman!


Wowsa

The Tomato Hunter


Got one!  (And a little bit of paint on my face from art projects, but that's another story)
So far, we've gotten a bunch of cherry tomatoes and one Roma, no big slicers have ripened yet.  I say we, but really I mean the Girl, because she eats them all before we even get back into the house.  She also LOVES asparagus that grows out back.  I am such a proud garden mama.  Also have had a half dozen or so decent cukes which I need to make refrigerator pickles out of, green beans (1 meal's worth and lots more on the plants getting ready to pick in a week or so I suppose), onions whenever I've needed some for cooking, cilantro for my favorite bean dip recipe (If you're nice, maybe I'll share the recipe with you), and we had some lettuce earlier on, although I need to think about planting another crop of that for fall now that the weather's cooling off just a bit.  Radishes and carrots were a bust.  I think I need to learn to remember to thin them.  My Hubby got only a handful of tiny radishes. 

So there you go, you accomplished gardeners can pat yourselves on the back that at least you're not doing as bad as me.  You're welcome.  And you beginner gardeners can maybe have a laugh and know that you don't have to be a perfect gardener to still eat some yummy, fresh homegrown goodies.  You're welcome.  That's all for now.  My little helper is waking up from her nap and Super-Mom duty calls.

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