Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Garden Spot 2009 Review: Challenges Faced

Over the next few days I am posting a series of evaluations of the Garden Spot’s 2009 growing season.

There are always challenges involved when it comes to gardening. You can try, but it is impossible to plan for every situation. These are some of the challenges that the Garden Spot experienced in 2009:

Cold Spring: The garden was planted Memorial Day, the typical “safe” time for my area. However, we experienced two frosts after that date. I need to remember this for next year and not put out my more tender plants (tomatoes, peppers, melons) until later. Even though we covered the garden for the frosts, the nights were cold and this can stunt the plants and affect their growth for the season. They didn’t grow during this time anyway because it was too cold.

Rain: Overall we have had 22.31 inches of rainfall this summer (June, July and August). The average is 9.65. During this time, we didn’t have many sunny days either.

Wrong Transplants: Some of the transplants I ordered turned out to be NOT what I ordered. When I planned my garden, I wanted to have lots of peppers and paste tomatoes for salsa and tomato sauce. As the plants grew, I discovered that the Window Box Roma tomatoes were some other type of non-paste tomato. This was also a problem because I spaced the plants for a 20-inch bush tomato plant and didn’t provide supports. My jalapeno peppers ended up being some sort of yellow banana pepper. All in all a nice pepper, but not what was planned.

Late Blight spread through my tomato plants early in the season before a single tomato showed its first blush. 20 tomato plants were pulled and bagged the weekend of August 8, 2009.


  1. Challenges make gardening difficult, but fun (sometimes.) I didn't realise how common getting wrong seedlings was, but it happened to me too last year with a green zebra tomato which turned out to be anything but. It is fun to get new things, but now when you didn't plan on it and it doesn't fit with the garden. Hopefully the challenges are more forbidding next season!

  2. It's great that you're keeping records. I try to index my garden journal entries, but it's a spotty method at best.

  3. Ugh, I hadn't seen (or wanted to see) a rainfall total. YUK! It is a wonder we harvested anything I guess. I am sorry to hear you had such troubles with your transplants. I had considered ordering from Green Mountain Transplants, but opted not to, and now I am glad. We have a great system for seed starting, it is always the time that is the challenge, but I guess I will tough it out. Sleep is for wimps.

  4. I could have copied your post word for word and posted it on my journal. MN has to remind us from time to time that gardening is a cooperative effort between us and her. Oh well I will try again next year. John

  5. Prue: Challenges do make things interesting. I’ve heard of people buying seeds that turned out to be not what was on the packaging too.

    Stefaneener: I started indexing my garden entries, then just stopped doing it. Maybe I’ll go through and edit to add these during the winter.

    Ali: Yeah, that rain we had was pretty unbelievable. You had to do a little bit of searching as I only mentioned Green Mountain Transplants early on in the season. I really wanted to give them another chance since their move from VT to ME was difficult for them a few years back and I know they lost some customers. Last year the plants were great. I even wrote them a letter to let them know that I was disappointed about receiving the wrong plants and never heard back. I won’t be ordering from them again.

    John: That’s just the thing about gardening….there is always next year to try again.