Friday, May 21, 2010

So Many Things to Learn

Today I've been repeatedly faced with my gardening shortcomings. First, I found out that my Canada Thistle eradication efforts were only making things worse. Our front flower bed, which runs the entire length of the house, is completely infested with these evil weeds. I thought that by pulling them out before they flowered I would be making good headway. Turns out that each time you break the root, it produces several more plants. So... I guess I'm going to try cutting them off at gound level as often as possible in hopes that I'll eventually weaken the root systems enough that they'll stop growing back.

Then, I moved my seedlings outside this morning to continue hardening them off in preparation for planting them this weekend, and I took a good look at them. Even though we had fluorescent lights on them for 16 hours a day, and also had them in a south facing window, they don't look a heck of a lot better than the ones we started last year. At least my tomato plants aren't pale or leggy this year, but instead are dark purple and still very small, with only a couple of true leaves at this point. When I looked at a gardening forum this morning, where purple tomato seedlings were the topic of discussion, I was really disheartened to see what other people's tomato plants looked like by the time they're getting them in the garden. They've got to be 20 times bigger! My seedlings always look like this, though, and usually survive just fine (except when a late frost comes in, like last year). But I can't help but think how much earlier I'd get fruit and how much better the crop would be if they had a better start.

And finally, when I checked the garden for progress, the potatoes are coming up (yay!) but the peas haven't grown much in the last couple of weeks, and the spinach is pretty much non-existant. It came up about a week after I planted it, but since then it's barely grown at all. I know the last week in April is a bit late for spinach, but we planted it the same time last year, and had no problem. Perhaps it was the freak weekend of almost 90 degree weather we had shortly after I put the seeds in the ground. Maybe the soil isn't to their liking. I just don't know...

But it's a beautiful day outside, so I'll try not to dwell on it. Learning from mistakes is all part of the process.


dining tables said...

I still have many things to learn, too. I am starting to learn the art of gardening.

Janine said...

Don't be too discouraged about your tomatoes. I too got them in later than "The Joneses" but it's just so much more satisfying knowing that you started from seed!

I also experienced the spinach issue too. It looked great in the beginning, but then just sorta stopped growing.

How far along are your raspberries? I am still waiting (or giving up) on any fruit this season from my bush.