Failure in the Garden

Hubby and I went to the garden per usual Sunday afternoon and were saddened by the sight that greeted us.  Our beautiful corn stalks, the very ones I was asking about last week here, are gone.  Destroyed.



I was really disappointed.  Like, irrationally disappointed.  I was so looking forward to tasting corn I had grown myself! And we only had about 4 stalks to begin with, so I wasn’t going to have that much.

So, with a heavy heart I started looking around the garden and saw all the other things this year that haven’t gone so well.  Don’t get me wrong, for our first summer gardening ever, trying to grow a whole bunch of new things we’d never done before, I think we’ve done really well.  But a look at our failures:

  • Golden chard. I didn’t even take a picture of it today because it looks exactly the same way it did over a month ago.  Small and fragile. It’s like permanently stuck in an early state, and definitely doesn’t look very appetizing.
  • Strawberries. The three plants we got from Pigliavento early this spring didn’t fare too well.  We think the birds (or some other small animal) keeps taking the strawberries, because there are never any!  We see unripe ones, but they are always gone before we see them red and ripe.  Luckily, the alpine strawberry plant we bought at Honest Weight Co-op and planted in a pot on our deck has done fabulously, and we plan to transplant it to the garden before winter comes (because it won’t last in the pot over the winter).  We ate little alpine strawberries all summer long on our back deck, and apparently fed a local squirrel too (which entertained our kitties looking on jealously from the inside).
  • Melons. We started the melon plants in pots on our deck a little late this spring, and it took them a long time to get used to the garden.  They’ve only started flowering the last few weeks, and there’s no sign of any fruit.  Boo.  Clearly, nothing’s going to have time to grow before the first frost hits sometime next month.  K and I have realized we need to start the plants inside earlier in the year (we didn’t do that at all this year), but we’re unsure how to do that in our condo.

    Melon vines with flowers

    Melon vines with flowers

  • Garlic. We ended up with 6 bulbs of garlic from the transplants Terry gave us in the spring.  However, they didn’t like being moved and didn’t grow very big.  Puny little garlic, and it was very mild garlic too. We didn’t save any cloves to use to grow new garlic next year because I didn’t like it.
  • Zucchini. Well, really, they were a mixed bag.  The beginning zucchinis were great.  But I think insects started eating them and they died a quick death.
  • Green beans. Oh, woe are the green beans.  This was totally our fault.  They grew nice and thick and we started off with a great crop.  However, we picked a few quarts the first few weeks, then left it in the fridge and let them go bad.  Then the Mexican bean beatle got a hold of the leaves and killed the plant.  We didn’t use any insecticide (even natural) this year and boy, we learned to never do that again!  Luckily, today we dug up and threw out the plants, killed the insects and larvae by hand, and saved a few of the last green beans that were still there. (The Mexican bean beetle only eats the leaves, it doesn’t touch the actual green beans).  Tonight, I blanched the green beans and froze them (no more canning, I’m all canned out right now). We have enough for one meal this winter, no more.


So, those were our failures in the garden this summer.  Tomorrow I’ll go over our successes.  I continued to feel badly about my corn until I saw our neighbor Lev’s corn:

Lev's corn

Lev's corn

He has a lot more of it that hasn’t been destroyed yet, but it still looked pretty bad.  Oh, and we’re pretty sure squirrels were the culprits.  We saw one sitting on top of a sunflower in town today, looking pretty smug 🙂 .


2 Responses

  1. I believe it was a wise person that said you learn more from your “failures” than your successes. I look forward to seeing how the successes in your garden out number your disappointments.

    Bummer about the corn.

  2. Cant your emotions take a hit when something goes wrong in the garden? I completely understand your frustrations. This is when I wish it were Spring and I could start all over.

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