I think the title of this post says it all. If you don’t believe the title, have a look at the pictures.
Clearly, not my forte.
I’m very good at starting gardens. I’m just not so great at finishing them. Well, actually, the finishing isn’t really a problem either. I guess you could say it’s the middle bit – the maintenance – that defies my abilities.
I created my vege garden in the one spot available in my little yard that didn’t already have an established garden. I prepared it beautifully, planted seeds, added fertiliser and watered diligently.
I was very excited to find seedlings coming up.
I especially liked the pumpkin plants – they grew so fast! I’m very much an instant gratification kind of girl, so rapidly-growing plants really appeal to me.
The problem with gardens is you can’t just spend a few weeks taking care of them and then leave them. Which is inevitably what happens with me. It’s what happened this time. I watered and weeded very well until work went crazy and I started working stupid hours (like until 2am sometimes). Then sleep came ahead of weeding and watering, so the plants had to fend for themselves.
This happens to me every time I start a garden. Without fail. I knew this going in, so I purposely planted them in a place where they would get rain and sunshine so they could technically be a bit self-sufficient, and clearly the weeds had no problem growing, so they would be ok.
In fact, for a while, my veges were ok.
Then the pumpkin vines started to get white splotches on them (which one of my colleagues tells me was likely mould – apparently this is a common issue Queensland pumpkin-growers face). All the little pumpkins (except one) rotted. Something started eating the sweet potato leaves. The carrots and spring onions got lost amongst the weeds. The only thing that seemed to be hanging on was the nasturtiums.
I pretty much gave it up as a bad job.
But several months after planting, I came across the little notations I’d optimistically made in my diary: ‘Carrot Harvest!’ and things like that. So I thought it wouldn’t hurt to dig the little suckers up and see what was under the ground.
When I got down to the garden, I thought maybe it wouldn’t be so bad after all. The carrot tops were long and green and lovely. Pity about the carrots underneath.
Diva politely sat by the veges to give you a better idea of scale.
Yes, the carrots are about 3cm (just over an inch) long.
The lone butternut pumpkin – looking gargantuan beside the carrots – was about 12cm (nearly 5 inches) long.
I also planted about 20 spring onions. They all died, except for one that grew to about the size of a chive.
I didn’t pick it.
The sweet potatos are still going, but they are very chewed up. The nasturtiums are battling on (like Xena).
The thing about my gardening is that every time I do it, although I suck at it, I always suck a little bit less. I learn something every time. I will know, next time, to plant my pumpkins in a much airier place, so they don’t get too damp. I will know that green tops on the carrots doesn’t mean the roots are making much headway. I will know that spring onions hate me: they don’t grow in pots on the verandah for me, they don’t grow in the garden for me… but I am going to find a place where they do grow. Maybe in pots out in the open.
I’d be interested in anyone’s opinion on how to stop whatever it is eating my sweet potato vine. I think I can still salvage it. I saw a shiny, flea-sized bug on a leaf once, but otherwise I haven’t seen any bugs or caterpillars or anything on the leaves at all.
On the bright side, even though my vege gardening this time around was a fail, I still got to eat the pumpkin.
Yankee Elv cut it open and it looked just like a normal butternut pumpkin, just tiny.
So she made me butternut pumpkin chips. They were a delicious little snack!