Exposing the flip side
No matter how hard I try, I always seem to get tomatoes that become diseased. I was going so well this year with thick, beautiful green foliage on the tomato plants until we had 5 inches of rain a couple of weeks ago. Now they are covered in yellow leaves and the slaters seem to be having a race with me to see who can get to the tomatoes quicker.
This corn bed fascinates me. I had thought I was being thrify at planting time by putting all of the older corn seedlings in first and then filling up the bed with the youngster seedlings, saving the remainder of the youngsters for replacements if needed. Take a look at how the older seedlings simply refused to grow. The tall corn that is doing it's sprouting thing are all the young seedlings. Funny-weird, eh!
And then come the leaf eaters. Something has made a very tasty meal of this cabbage and I have found no evidence of cabbage moth caterpillar...hmm, very confusing. This is the worst case of leaf eating in my garden at the moment, but there are many other brassicas, all with some leaf chewing going on, which definately are cabbage moth. I'm sure this plant in the same boat, they must just have too many sneaky hiding places on this cabbage....
There are also the capsicum plants in the greenhouse that have looked so promising all season, but failed to open a single flower bud and therefore form a fruit. Any fruit. Just one. One little capsicum would have been so nice. And let's not forget the pumpkin that was also doing so well, until this week, it suddenly decided to call it quits. It just dropped off it's stem and is now turning all soft and squishy for no apparant reason. Whitefly in the greenhouse, slugs in the strawberries, on and on it goes.
One may wonder, why bother at all? Wouldn't it be a whole lot easier to jump in the car and go and buy big, juicy vegies at the shop for a fraction of the cost (time and money) that I am currently putting in? Well yes, of course it would be easier, a whole lot easier!
But feeding my family healthy vegetables is important to me. I know that there are definately no chemicals whatsoever on the food produced in our garden. It is super fresh and travels only meters from the garden to the table. There is always something to harvest, even if it is just a good big bunch of herbs in the middle of winter. Cost doesn't really come into it, although it is nice to have it on my side (when things go well).
With each failure comes knowledge. And then the knowledge is put to use for future plantings. It is a huge cycle that just keeps going on. The more that goes wrong, the more you research, and therefore change your ways of doing things. There is always another tactic to try, to outwit the bugs, another strategy to try to improve the yield, always something new to learn. And always someone out there who is happy to share their knowledge with you. There is always the hope for bigger and better crops...that's what really keeps me at it.