Sunday, September 5, 2010

the year without a summer

As fall is approaches, I am still waiting for summer. The garden was a near total bust. The green beans died from lack of sun and powdery mildew, after making a few pods and never getting more than 3 inches tall. We got 2 zucchini. The chard plants went to seed after feeding us well for a couple of years (though that was bound to happen).

We decided to put in raised beds this year--right smack in the middle of the yard, to maximize sunlight. What with May gray turning to June gloom and continuing, with few breaks, right through August and into September, the poor plants need access to as much sun as they can get. Even if it is 15 minutes at dinnertime.

Our poor back garden has been abandoned. Why? This is why:

The left tree is a loquat. I love loquats. I don't love the squirrels that sit up top, eat loquats, and throw seeds into my garden. The absentee owners just had it trimmed--in late August. It is due south of the garden, 2 feet from the property line. *sigh*. The monstrosity on the right is another neighbor's coral tree. It is about 3 years overdue for a serious trimming--it also overhangs the fence, which may not be obvious. It blocks all late afternoon/evening sun. Which is about all we've been getting. And if you're not familiar with coral trees, they reseed prolifically. And the seedlings have thorns. It's fabulous! (Note the gloomy sky in the picture :(  ).

So, back to the middle of the yard. One bed down:
One tomato, one anaheim, and planted today: lettuce, radicchio, leeks, scallions, carrots, broccoli, chard, radishes. If October turns out to be our hottest month, we'll get tomatoes. Otherwise, radishes. Kudos to my friends Bill and Venus, who blogs about their fabulous Sacramento garden here. That box design came from that blog. Now we need to do 2 more. Making the box is the easy part. Breaking up the clay soil and digging out the Bermuda grass/weeds--hard, hard work.

Our front yard tomato has now ripened two. (Shhh! I have eaten them right off the plant.) I am hopeful for these guys:

1 comment:

  1. We got one sunflower this year, and only two volunteer tomatoes on the sunny side of the house. Last year there were at least 4 tomato plants. It has indeed been a yucky summer for growing things.