Tuesday, September 13, 2016

July, August, September Progress & Failures

What would gardening be like with no failures? I seem to have a lot of them lately, but I won't let it get me down. A few lessons I have learned recently are 1. Don't store seeds in a hot garage. 2. My dirt in my yard has residue of herbicides.
The first lesson was an easy one to correct, although many of the seeds I planted did nothing and I will blame the hot storage location for most of that. What I am discovering about the dirt in my yard is less than ideal and I have little information about what it was sprayed with and how long I can expect to see deformed and stunted growth in my plants. From my research, when a harsh chemical is used to prevent weed growth (which I assume was completed before we moved in about a year ago), it can take a while, depending on weather and conditions, for it to no longer affect plant growth. Small deformed leaves are visible on my chaste tree, orange tree and corn stalks while I haven't been able to get a tomato plant to grow here after several different attempts. At this point, I am trying to improve the soil by adding organic materials and watering deeply to hopefully recover and improve soil quality. 

Corn seeds planted July 25th and soon after we had a large monsoon storm that had them under water for a few hours, very few germinated. (Half of what I planted were older seeds that had been stored in the garage, non of which germinated.)
Corn seeds planted Aug 8th, Aug 13th, Aug 16th (battling the birds who wanted to peck out each little seedling. Covered the area with netting, several reinforcements as birds would still get in, hung up CD's and flashing tape to deter them.

I planted seeds (all old) of bush green beans, cabbage, green onions, carrots, eggplant, squash, kohlrabi, tomatoes, cucumber and pumpkin all on August 15th. Of those plantings, the pumpkin, eggplant, corn and one squash plant are still living. 

Sept 1st, corn seedlings protected by netting
Sept 1st, Basil plant from Spring
Sept 1st, Marigold seedlings
Sept 1st, Pumpkin and sunflower seedlings protected from birds by netting, held up with paint stirring sticks.
 The photos below were taken today, Sept 13th. The corn looked normal when it was small, but as it has grown it has started twisting and curling, some stalks even pointing to the side instead of upward. I will watch and wait to see what it does and how it produces. 
I got an idea from an online gardener to plant pole green beans alongside the corn since legumes are nitrogen fixing and corn supplies a growing support for the beans. The green bean seeds were planted on Sept 3rd and are growing great. 
I have enhanced the soil with worm castings and a balanced granular fertilizer.
I pulled out the cantaloupe vines I had kept alive all summer since they were not producing any fruit. I appreciated the green and yellow they supplied for the summer months.

Sept 13th, Corn stalk, deformed and curly tips. Green bean on left.

Sept 13th, Green Bean planted by corn

Sept 13th, Pumpkin and sunflower

Sept 13th, Strawberries planted back in May, hoping they will start flowering now. I pinched off it's flowers all summer.

Last week I sewed cilantro and today I sewed lettuce (a variety) and spinach in the garden bed with my beautiful basil. 

No comments:

Post a Comment