Garden Blues

I definitely have the garden blues right now. We are not having much success so far with the new garden. It is always hard, the first year or so, when you are figuring out a new garden plot and what does well in which spot and what you need to do to get your soil just right. So I guess I should have expected it.

Of the over 800 peas we planted, about 25 have sprouted. It has been over a month now since we planted them. 😦 I think it is a combination of things causing this, but mostly I think it is the soil we put in. We have been very frustrated with the soil, it seems heavy and clay-like. It is supposed to be a mixture of 75% topsoil and 25% compost. But it is really heavy. We bought it from a greenhouse in bulk to fill the new garden because we didn’t have any good compost yet of our own (everything from the cow is still too hot from the long cold winter). We will definitely be taking out a bunch of the dirt and adding in a bunch of compost before next year to try to help it out. It might also be the locations I chose. The ones that did sprout were all to one side of the garden. It could also be the seeds. I planted two types and one type sprouted much better than the other. Ugh, there are just so many variables when starting a new garden plot.

But what do I do now? It is pretty late in the season to replant the peas, and if it is the soil they will die anyway. But I have all this extra space in the garden and no peas coming out of it (we eat TONS of peas). And I’m not totally sure what exactly the problem is. Sigh.

My lettuce also wont sprout. I have succession planted it for 4 weeks now and none of them have come up. And we only have 1 asparagus out of about 12 feet of them sprouted. And the onions are still dried up shriveled little starts. 😦 Nothing happening with them at all.

The good news is that my turnips, beets, cabbage, and Brussel sprout are all doing very well. And the squash and pumpkins in the wall-of-waters are all doing excellent. As are the strawberries.

I need to remove the wall-of-waters tomorrow; we are past the risk of frost and the plants are way outgrowing them and are totally overcrowded inside of them. But I am nervous about losing them after they have done so well. I just have to go for it and hope I guess.

These getting started years are sometimes hard and frustrating. Especially because the last year I gardened at our old house was a HUGE success, so I think my expectations are too high. I do remember the first year there being a struggle too.

We will press on and keep figuring this all out and do what we can to improve our success. And maybe next year, or the year after I will be back to having a hugely successful garden. But for this year, I need to lower my expectations and work on learning this plot and improving the soil.

2 thoughts on “Garden Blues

  1. At least you have some successes to focus on.

    I’ve had really mixed results with peas as well. Some packets all sprout and I end up with heaps of peas, then the next packet doesn’t sprout at all. I wonder if pea seeds are vulnerable in some way. I also tried soaking them overnight and that made no difference whatsoever though plenty of people say that’s the trick.

    As for lettuce, I’ve had lousy success sowing seeds in the garden but if I put some compost in a pot and sow seeds I get plenty of seedlings. I transplant them sure the will all die because they are so small and weak and they tip over but almost 100% survive the transplant shock. I’ve tried leaving them in pots to grow but they don’t do well I believe because of the competition.

    I think you’re right that the first year is the hardest. My back yard soil is very clay-ey and every year we load it up with fresh compost. After a few years we have beds full of rich, healthy soil and the plants are doing much better.

    Keep at it and enjoy your successes.


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