Friday, June 27, 2008

Lessons Learned

Now that the weather is finally cooperating, it's time for a reality check and re-evaluate what does not work for this Pacific Northwest veggie garden.

Remember the Thai Red Roselle I had major zonal denial, yet such high hopes for? Well, they didn't make it past 3 inches tall. Even in the warmest spots, they did not enjoy the wet cool spring.

Sometimes, a crop goes missing in the whole shuffle of sowing and transplanting. I cannot find the pepino melons. They're completely gone--vanished. It's possible I mixed them up with the eggplant and gave them away as I handed over a tray of nasturtiums. I do remember them germinating and getting transplanted, but after that, who knows!

And speaking of eggplant, it will be interesting to see if they do decide to do anything. Last week I read they do not like nights below 55 degrees which we have had a ton of. Just now are we maintaining night temperatures above 50. Eggplant will stall out and remain stunted. They looked promising when I set them out in May and had at least four to five leaves each. Some are now holding their own against the slugs and have more leaves, but it's been an uphill battle.

The cucumbers were just an experiment, but I don't have enough to pollinate the girls with the boys. The seed was super old which may be why I have weak plants.

Ironically, I have one fennel plant out of the entire batch that is hanging on. Why is it that when you're not trying to grow fennel, it's everywhere. But, once you decide to plant it and cultivate it, the entire crop fails? I had great germination, but the survival rate has been dismal.

We all know what poor plants look like under such conditions, so I didn't bother taking any photos.


primrozie said...

Hi! I just found your blog. We have quite a few similarities. I'm zone 5 in Pennsylvania and my traditional growing season begins May 30th. It's supposed to be our last frost date, but like everything else in this world, we play it by ear.

My fennel didn't even germinate for me. Here we are in mid July and I'm going to try again. Should have enough growing time. We take extra measures some years to lengthen the growing season by going under cover.

After many years of trying to grow eggplant I've decided it's just too hard. The flea beetles have won out and I don't want to take all the trouble in growing yet another crop in containers.

I never got the parsnips planted and so I'm off to try and give them a shot. I don't have 100 days left for them, but we'll see what happens.

How much time do you have there in Washington?

Science PhD Mom said...

I am in year 2 of watermelon denial here in Kitsap County. I planted "Moon & Stars" watermelon again, and this year didn't get a single germination. I also planted "Sugar Baby", which is supposed to do well here, and got two germinations and one reasonable plant, which then piffled out on me before the weather got really hot. You can't win for losing, but there wouldn't be nearly as much fun if you didn't get your hopes up and try for new things!

Oh well, at least we are eating a nice crop of "Little Marvel" peas and fava beans, and our tomato plants are loaded with green fruit. And my sugar pumpkins are rioting about the garden with blooms everywhere!