I can’t tell you how good it feels when something you fail at previously, succeeds. Around this time last year, I had my very first vegetable garden. I longed to have a garden like my Dad’s. He would bring in tomatoes every afternoon after work in the summer, and we’d snack on them with salt/pepper shakers handy. They were just that flavorful, delicious and full of love. Dad worked hard on his garden every year, and I had high hopes that my genetics would help me. My mother is a horticulturist and Dad is a garden hobbyist.
I’d love to tell you how many tomatoes I had. I ended up with 10 cherry tomatoes, out of one cherry tomato bush and 6 creole tomato plants. It was discouraging, to say the least. This was the culprit, along with a painfully dry summer, which made manners worse, since the pests LOVE dry weather. No amount of watering plants made them leave.
Thinking back on it, I realized I used a lot of Sevin pesticides, and perhaps, that killed the good bugs that would have loved to eat on some spider mites. So, I decided this year to stay as organic as I possibly could.
One month ago, I discovered what I thought were assassin bugs living all over my tomatoes. Good sign, right? Well, those turned out to be leaf footed bugs in their nymph stage. Not good. Since these bugs are resilient to most pesticides, I would have to put on garden gloves (they apparently bite) and pluck them in a bucket full of water or throw them on the ground and stomp them until their aqua guts came out (yes, they seriously had AQUA guts!).
Two weeks ago, I found two stink bugs. Ugh….I basically threw the two in a bucket of soapy water and watched them drown. I’m heartless. Since then, it seems like there are no pests. ::knock on wood:: I’ve harvested 10 super fantastic tomatoes this season so far. They are tasty, mostly organic and all MINE. Hubs hates tomatoes.
Note: There is a funny story as to why they are MOSTLY organic. One day, there was a leaf footed bug that looked like it took steroids the night before. It was HUGE. I tried to throw it in a bucket, but before it landed, it flew. The #$%@ bugs can FLY?!? I screamed like a high pitched toddler, ran to the shed and got Sevin spray from last year. It landed on a tomato, and I doused that tomato with Sevin until the bug died. That tomato, however, was thrown in the trash.
Here’s my garden today…beautiful red tomatoes and baby bell peppers growing. I’ll say this year is SO much better!
Now, flower wise, our pansies died. My mom warned me that pansies can’t stand the summer that Louisiana brings, so I went to Lowe’s and bought the flowers on the left to replace the pots with. It said “feather flowers” on the label, and I think they are just pretty.
The flower on the right? It was once this….I can’t believe how tiny it once was!
Now, ever since the rainstorm that lasted a week, which was a couple of months ago, our meyer lemons started growing again. Before that, we thought it fizzled for the season, but check out how much they are growing! I’d really love some summer lemonade, little tree. Just sayin’.
Oh, and to the right? That’s no longer known as veggie garden. This was a veggie garden. Rather, it’s veggie jungle. The tomato plant on the left side of the arbor is my height. I’m 5’11″. Go tomatoes!
This year’s garden is just so encouraging. I mess up at a lot of things, but it’s great to see that a fail can turn into a success! Have you had any failures turn into successes lately?