At first, I couldn't get DH to till it up so I could get the early crops planted. Why couldn't I till it myself, you ask? Because the tiller requires the tractor (big garden = big tiller) and the tractor was minus one front wheel for several months, waiting for DH to fix it.
Then, when he finally did (fix the tractor and) till it, I had little to no time to get planting. It was the week before DS1 and K2's wedding. A week that was just a little hectic around here, what with me making the cake and all. (And them suddenly realizing they were out of time and all the decorations and things they were going to make/take care of themselves still weren't done. . . )
And right after the wedding was the week before DD2's graduation. And the week right after DD2's graduation was the week of cleaning and prepping and setting up (and making food and cake for) DD2's open house.
So, while all that was going on, I was trying to hurry and plant an entire 9,000+ square foot garden. (Did I mention by myself? Yeah, by myself. Everyone else was busy or working.) Because most things need to go in it during the last half of May here in my part of Michigan, planting was a must-do-as-fast-as-possible as soon as the soil had been turned even though there were so many other things on my plate. June is too short of a growing season for those hot weather veggies.
Then, the rain came. Every 2-3 days until the beginning of July, when we had a whole 5 day long dry spell! The soil was so wet I couldn't cultivate, and weeding had to be done by hand. Which takes, well, longer than I had, so the weeds ended up getting ahead of me and I never did catch up. Plus, all that wet soil just plain drowned some of my veggies. Many others were stunted because of the excess moisture.
Top that off with a cool summer, keeping the cukes and peppers and maters and melons and corn and squash from doing diddly. And the rain came back for most of August and early September.
Frustration, frustration, frustration.
We had a couple good frosts last week. Ahead of which I had picked all the tomatoes and peppers that were anywhere near big enough to eat. Those all got put into buckets and toted to the garage where they would stay warm at night. A piddly harvest. Not enough tomatoes to even run a canner load. Such a bummer after planting about 80 tomato seedlings, seedlings which I had grown myself, from carefully chosen varieties of heirloom tomatoes. I'd so been looking forward to eating those luscious red beauties.
This week I've been concentrating on digging the potatoes. All thirteen rows (at about 30' per row) of them. Back breaking work. For a really disappointing harvest. Lots of small potatoes. Any hill that had potatoes larger than a golf ball often only had one potato to the entire hill. Soil too wet and cool during the growing season. Plus those darn weeds. I think my total potato harvest is only about a bushel and a half. Pretty miserable compared to the three bushel I got from about 200' of row a few years ago.
The one variety that did well was the Papa Cacho fingerlings that I grew this year for the first time. They get an A+ and the right to be planted in future years. The Rose Finn Apple fingerlings did pretty well too, but the Papa Cachoes were superstars.
So, I'm glad to be saying bye-bye to the garden this weekend. Pulling the bean poles, the stakes, the tomato cages and putting them all away for the winter. DH is going to till it under and then I'm going to toss some sort of cover crop seed down on it.
I'm ready to put this gardeb out of my mind and start thinking ahead for next year.