Some things thrive in the rain...

Although there are mole mounds melting down the slope of my front yard, standing water in our back path, and it's so wet I don't think I'll ever get to plant green beans now, some things are loving this weather. In fact, lots of stuff is doing quite well right now. I just might need to rethink my plantings this year and stick with the cooler, greener crops. I'll let a few tomatoes struggle on since they are my favorite, but we might as well write off the bigger peppers this year. This is a year to stick with onions, lettuce, broccoli, chard, cabbage, spinach, herbs, zucchini and peas. (Don't ask me why the zucchini seems to be liking this OK for now.)

Of course this also creates the perfect environment for slugs to flourish and I need to get out there more to keep on top of them. The chard has sensed that that brief dry sunny spell in March was actually summer and now we're into fall so it's time to go to seed... I've had to cut it back drastically to get some light to the struggling tomatoes and basil. We'll see if it comes back with a third crop of leaves for me.

Actually, I think I need to give up on basil for now. Here's a sad view of the basil.

 Much of the garden is really happy though and I just have to remember that, even though my favorites may not make it this year (the tomatoes, basil and yellow squash) some great stuff will! The lettuce couldn't be happier and the onions are about to burst forth flowers. The garlic seems to be holding up without any rot and this weekend promises good weather.

I have even started a batch of compost tea to encourage more growth. This is the easiest and cheapest way to fertilize. Just grab a shovel full of your rough compost (doesn't need to be the potting soil consistency yet) and toss it in a bucket. Fill the bucket with water and let it sit a day or two. Once it starts to get a nice foam at the top, scoop off the coffee-colored "tea". You just pour this directly at the base of each of your plants. I use an old plastic container and a Home Depot bucket for the job. I do this about once a week. When you've used all the liquid, you can dump the leftover compost back into the pile or around the base of your acid loving shrubs (like camellia or rhododendrons).

Keep in mind that the "tea" is very nitrogen rich, especially if you add rabbit droppings to it like we do. The best part of doing this now is that the green plants that love this weather love the nitrogen from my bunny poo rich fertilizing brew. Before your "fruit" producing plants start to flower, you'll also want to work in something such as fish bone meal to encourage flower production and to balance the nitrogen. Last year I used a ton of tea and didn't realize until too late that I needed the bone meal. My plants were HUGE and a nice dark green, but they didn't produce as much as I wanted...

Lastly, we use beer traps to curb the army of slugs that love this wet cool mess of a garden. So, we need to double my little beer traps and frequently refill them. I don't actually drink beer so I have to buy it just for the garden, but you can use whatever you have. I don't want to use Jovi's expensive local brews so I run to the store for the biggest, cheapest cans of beer I can get. I like to imagine that the store clerks think I'm a closet alcoholic as I stand in line with my magnums and snack food. Cheers to your garden!

No comments:

Post a Comment