Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gardening Fail

Okay, I have to admit I'm pretty bummed out.

My wife and I are trying to learn how to garden. I've read a lot, purchased four raised bed kits, put them together, bought a cubic yard of  'planting mix', planted tomatoes, peppers, cukes, zukes, squash, basil, lettuce, spinach, bush beans and carrots. (Based on different 'square foot gardening' principals of what spacing you should do, what should be planted next to what etc.)

I set up a soaker hose system on a timer, got it working well, and then we went on vacation for a week. What could go wrong in one week? We got home from vacation, and I noticed that everything in the garden (well, almost everything) was dead. It had dropped to below freezing three mornings in a row where I live.) This is June, people! It's not supposed to freeze anymore!!! I had a beautiful 'German Giant' tomato that was almost three feet tall. Dead. Other tomatoes, dead. Peppers, dead. Basil, really dead. The only things that lived are the things I planted from seed. Spinach, lettuce, carrots and my bush beans.

I'm thankful that I wasn't counting on this experiment to keep me alive.

So--now I'm thinking of what I can do to prevent this from happening again. I'll buy some 'Wall-O-Waters' from the feed store. I'll convert an old dog kennel into a greenhouse. I've seen plans on instructables.com where you can have the greenhouse doors open and close automatically. I may have to build something like that for where I live. My buddy CopperKnight didn't lose any of his plantings--but he does live 'in town' where there is a little more heat contained overnight.

What would you do to make sure your garden doesn't get killed off by an unexpected event?

Like I said...I'm glad this is a learning experiment for me. Hopefully if/when the SHTF...I'll have some food to store for the winter.

1 comment:

  1. Yep, no frost here. Close, but not quite.

    Some weather events you just can't do anything about... high winds, extended heat and the like.

    A light frost (if you know it's coming) can be averted with even light weight tarps for the night (barring high winds take out your tarps) or row covers.
    For smaller stuff and cold days I learned from TSP that inverted fish tanks work well to protect the small things and act as a mini greenhouse to warm the plants and soil for faster growth.
    If you are in farm country with access to lots of fluffy straw, you can always gently cover your stuff with a pile of straw. It's more of a pain having to be careful with piling it on and taking it off, but it's a good insulator as long as you pile it well over the plants to be protected.
    Of course, other than the fish tank for small isolated items, you have to remove the covering during the day to let sunlight to the plants. And the fish tank isn't good on hot days as it will overheat and cook whatever you have under it.

    Good luck with your second round of plants. You might have to invest in a CSA after all...