Garden Post for August 21st

Well, it is sad to say that I have not posted in a few months.

Why?  There hasn’t been much to post about.

This year’s extreme heat in Central Illinois has nearly wiped everything out.  Added to that, the wildlife have been extra vigilant this year to find food – and have done extensive damage to the garden.

The back garden was a complete loss.  There were dozens of Kennebec potatoes that were growing back there, but all of them dried up and died by the beginning of July.  Only a few remained in the potato bin – which is just right next to the carrots.  Those were just dug up on Sunday and yielded about three pounds out of six plants.

The corn was a loss.  I worked very hard and made several plantings of Honey Treat corn.  Finally, a good amount of corn came up – but it was no match for the raccoons.  They broke down and tore holes through the deer netting and tore off most of all the corn.  When it was all said and done, around July 21st, we got about six ears of corn from 50+ stalks.  If that isn’t enough to make you give up, continue reading.

We have had a few gallon bucks of tomatoes that came out of the garden – but certainly not nearly as many last year.  The tomato plants were loaded with green tomatoes just waiting to be ripened up.  Then what happens – deer.  In the past couple of years, I have always had good luck with deer netting and it kept the deer out of the garden and away from the apple tree.  Not this year.  The deer were not afraid of it at all – and again, the ate the bottom 2/3 of the apple tree.  In addition to that, they took any potential opportunity to get into the garden.  And they did so one day that the netting was just a little bit lower than normal (netting is five feet high).  They got in and ate ALL of the green tomatoes and almost mowed down all of the tomato plants.

The plants are making a comeback now – and we do have some green tomatoes on them – so am hoping we’ll get more before the end of the year.

What about green beans?  At least 100 or more were planted.  The ones that survived either shriveled up in the intense heat – or again, the deer pulled them out of the ground and had a snack.  Not one green bean was collected this year.

The bright side that remains are the carrots.  They were looking pretty limp and not doing well – but finally the weather has cooled down, and they have perked back up.  There are some fairly good-sized carrots in there.  I just hope that it isn’t too late to pull them – because they were planted at the beginning of April.

It has certainly been a sad year for the garden.  I just hope that next year will bring a little more luck.