Sunday, June 10, 2012

Seriously Messed Up--a Trailer Park Homestead update

I'm afraid people are going to start seeing the truth about my rumored "green thumb" after this post.  I really don't have one.  My garden isn't looking so good right now.   If it was a chick, I'm pretty sure the correct slang phrase to describe it would actually be "hot mess".  Considering the past couple days have been about 90 degrees, much too hot for this time of year in Michigan, I'd say that would be an appropriate phrase.  Not all the messed up things going on in the garden are heat related though.

My herbs, amongst other things, were looking very wilted before I set the sprinkler out today.
The lettuce is completely beyond saving.  I'll need to pull it out and replant sometime this week, I guess.
My silvery fir Russian tomato plant, the one tomato plant I have with little green tomatoes on it, did this today.  I'm hoping it was just from the weight and that I just need to tie it up, but I'm afraid it was from a lack of water.
Not heat related, but still pretty messed up.  The carrots I planted last August and overwintered as tiny seedlings have decided they are two years old and have decided to flower.  I've decided to permit them to do this in the interest of harvesting the seeds.  I'm pretty sure I planted heirlooms, so it should all work out.
I thought I planted broccoli in here, but now that it's getting big, it looks more like cabbage!  I guess it is okay either way.  I'll just make more egg rolls if that is cabbage!
I noticed a bunch of weeds in this box that is supposed to just house watermelon plants the other day, but when I went to weed it, I discovered what I really had was hundreds of volunteer tomato plants!  I didn't have it in me to kill them all of, so I thinned them out.  Now, this box is officially for watermelon...and tomatoes.  I wonder what kind of tomato plants they are!

My garden is not a complete fail though.  So far this year, I've harvested about half pound each of spinach and snap peas, as well as a head of broccoli and there is plenty more broccoli I need to pick!  Other positives are
the Brandywine tomatoes are beginning to flower and
it looks like I'm going to have a pretty good crop of raspberries, maybe even a whole quart or two!


  1. Looks like you need to turn that sprinkler on more often. It rained here today--most of the day but just a couple days without rain and I am back to watering the container stuff every single day, sometimes twice a day.

  2. It's not hopeless, but you need to water more often in the heat. I add a lot of compost and manure(with a little peat) to topsoil, even in containers. It seems to help and also absorbs/holds a bit mroe than the fluffy potting soil. Rather than put on springlers, I'd directly water. The containers need more water than things planted in the ground. If you try growing in clay pots you'll have a never ending battle- the clay constantly pulls the moisture out of the soil.
    When it's in the 90s don't bother planting more lettuce- it bolts in the heat. Your herbs will come back nicely if you give them a good soak in the morning and again in the evening.
    Your tomatoes will be sturdier and healther if they are staked. Try just putting a ring of chicken wire around inside the pot for support.
    That's my $.02

  3. I'm having issues with my basil... like, there is none. I've *never* had basil fail completely before. Much of my stuff has been munched by slugs, but I'm dealing with that using eggshells, ash from the wood stove, and beer. But the basil just never germinated. Oh well...

    I have four huge tomato plants (gifts from MiL), and about 8 or 9 tiny ones that don't seem to be growing. But the big ones have green tomatoes on them (for New England that isn't bad!). My herbs are doing fantastic for a change (I'm growing in a huge tractor tire) and my spinach is going grand. The broccoli is looking good, but doesn't seem to be developing anything like a head. My peas and beans, though, WOW. I just planted cukes the other day. In my (ahem) "raised bed". Made out of plastic bins. LOL

  4. It's a rough summer. I'm finding that I'm having a lot of issues I don't normally have---hang in there!

  5. My herbs are not doing so good either....if it doesn't rain tonight,I'll be out there watering for sure...with clients waiting this year,I can't afford to lose anything...this heat is killer though...the rabbits were very unhappy today too until we put frozen water bottles in with them..they were all still laying by them when we got home a little bit ago.

    I hope it doesn't make a habit of staying this hot.I've got three litters of bunnies due in a couple weeks...too hot not good...worse than too cold...

  6. I'm in Prescott Valley, AZ and can't go a day without watering my pallet garden and containers. I'm thinking of installing a drip system like the rest of my yard landscaping because I'm literally tied to my garden and can't even go off for a weekend camping. We just moved here from OR and I'm learning the hard way about the climate differences and gardening! I feel your pain!

  7. It looks like you are trying to garden here in Texas! But if anyone can save what is savable (is that even a word?) as well as start over again and succeed it will be you! Hang in there.

  8. Have you considered having your kids help with the watering? It would be a great learning opportunity for them. :)

  9. Hey my broccoli looks just like yours... so I'm thinking yours is broccoli! The broccoli florets will come up the center stalk when it's bigger and the leaves do look like cabbage:) So there's still hope for broccoli!