Fall garden hits and misses

This is a short fall container garden update. Pictures give a clearer picture of how it’s still going with the bug and pest problems living in the GA swamps. While most of my plants are doing okay, I’ve got some that have succumbed to pests.

I have more tomatoes and cucumbers growing, more lettuce and kale, some red beets, onions, and a few other things, so I’ll see how this goes. I’m still trying to use and preserve even small amounts. Every little bit counts. There’s something to feeling more connection to food you grow yourself, even imperfect ones, over buying blemish-free perfect produce at the grocery store.

While I am still using a lot of grow bags, I did buy more larger pots on amazon and have started using those too. The grow bags work, but in my climate, with such high heat from late spring all the way into early fall, the grow bags dry out quickly and require a lot more watering than plastic pots. I do hope to get some raised beds together in the next year, but I will still continue with some container gardening too. With the recent weeks of rain, it brought home again how long most of my backyard stays swampy after rain and also memories of years ago struggling to grow an in-ground garden in my backyard, where it would be either too much rain or drought conditions.

Even in my backyard, though, there are areas that aren’t as swampy, so I haven’t rejected in-ground planting completely. I’ll keep trying different things and see what works and what doesn’t. I’ve been tossing around ideas for some flower beds in my front yard that incorporate herbs and some vegetables. I also might plant some blueberry bushes along the side of my driveway.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned from more gardening failures than I can count over the years is keep trying and when plants die, rather than get discouraged, try to figure out what went wrong. Then try something new or replant more seeds.

Just getting busy, instead of making excuses or making things too complicated, has become more of a mental roadblock for me to overcome in the information age. I often look at Pinterest perfect photos and awe-inspiring YouTube videos, then start thinking perhaps I need all these doodads before starting projects.

Growing up without all that information or access to so much stuff, I just learned to make-do with what we had and figured something out. I had a make-do mind-set all the way through raising my kids too, but since the internet, I’ve had to catch myself with creating these mental roadblocks. It wasn’t only my spelling that suffered in the digital age, since becoming reliant on spell-check, it was my can-do attitude too.

It’s getting very expensive to buy plants already started at the store, plus you can find so many different varieties of vegetables by buying seeds. The first photo is a red cabbage called Red Express, from Park Seeds and it’s supposed to have a compact growing habit, so I thought I’d try it in containers. I’ve already bought a lot of seeds for spring and plan to order a few more. I saved some seeds too, and I did buy the seed-saving book, Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners, that I saw several online gardeners mention, and it’s very helpful.

The sun will come out tomorrow wasn’t only for overly-cheerful Annie, it can be for all of us. Have a nice day.

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