Last August I was so excited to try out Tim Miller's planting by the moon schedule. Through no fault of Farmer Miller, the planting schedule has been a dismal failure chez Vert.
The lettuces I seeded back in early September yielded these lonely guys:
I seeded the whole area, about 4' by 3'. I shielded with shade cloth and still ended up with these three plants, which I really should worship right now. I just checked on them, and they are engulfed in ants. Didn't have the heart to try to figure out if they are fire ants.
And then there were the peas: shelling, snow, and snap that I sowed in late September. The shelling peas came up but the snows and snaps--nothing. I guess the squirrels were the ones upending them, and the beets.
For the first time, I actually soaked the beet seeds overnight, which is supposed to help with their germination. Instead, I got nothing. A few beets sprouted but none survived the heat of the last two weeks.
And the radishes, the easiest of the fall vegetables to grow? Zero! Zero germination. It can't just be that I bought bad seeds.
Maybe this summer's heat ruined my soil? I added more compost and a little organic fertilizer, but I just realized last night that I haven't seen a single earthworm in weeks! Where have you gone, my little harbingers of soil fertility?
I had better luck with germination when I had no idea what I was doing.
Last night I decided to throw out the planting with the moon and to reverse my sad fall vegetable mojo.
I wore these pretty new clothes my friend gave me as an early birthday present. (Thanks! They fit great, and I won't at all hold them responsible if I again end up with poor germination. I promise.)
I also brought out the dueling guns to cover my newly planted pea, beet, and radish seeds: that's cayenne pepper on the right, chipotle on the left. Those squirrels might try to get my crop again, but at least they will pay for it.
I also decided to use my German zinc watering can to water in the newbies. Maybe my watering wand on the shower setting was too strong for the little seeds of the last planting that I found pooled in a corner? And maybe the bat embossed on the can will spread some hypothetical guano on my plants.
As an additional line of defense, I placed row cover around the new seeds. And then it rained last night, which overall made me happy but I am afraid it might have been too much for my little ones.
I do, or perhaps did, have backup for some of these purchased starter plants. I have been hardening them off the last few days and then today I may have left them outside too long. They look sad and miserable, a little like I feel right now.
After the summer's disastrous vegetable failure, I was really pinning my hopes on my fall vegetable garden. The newly planted fall garden at Lady Bird Lake is growing well. The gardens I've helped install for others are bringing smiles to their faces.
Is it really too much to ask that I can grow vegetables in my own backyard?
At least, tomorrow is another day.