How does your garden grow?

Hornworms.

I found hornworms today. I managed to find 5 of them, I hope that’s all there were. It’s a very small garden. They decimated one of my cayenne plants, stripping virtually all the leaves. I have no idea if it’ll survive. They ate the only #$@$#@ bell pepper that was actually growing in the entire freaking garden.

The other joys of this gardening experience have included, in no particular order:

Slugs.
Grasshoppers.
Tomato blight.
Root rot.
Powdery mildew.
Weather that leaps from too hot for the fruit to ripen, to massive rain storms that flood the garden (hence the blight, rot, and mildew).

I don’t even know what else, there’re some other problems going on but they aren’t as devastating so I don’t care that much.

If I actually manage to get any fruit out of this, it’ll be a miracle.

Some of it is bad luck. Some of it is inexperience. It doesn’t help that I’m trying to keep this reasonably organic and I don’t want any overly harsh chemicals near my toddler (at this point- I’m not expecting to get any food, so I’m not worried about chemicals near my food) and the garden is right next to his outdoor play area. But overall, I’m having a really hard time deciding if it’s going to be worth ever trying to do this again. I’m about to give up. My most successful plant has just been destroyed quite literally overnight.

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3 Responses to How does your garden grow?

  1. Pingback: How does your garden grow? | Life with my Sapling | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

  2. Please don’t be discouraged!!! I know it’s so heartbreaking when this kind of thing happens but your reason for not resorting to a temporary and possibly ineffective chemical “fix” is really wonderful! In my experience, it takes a little while to figure things out, maybe a couple of growing seasons and then, as you say, bad luck can still play a part. Stuff I learned the previous season can be useless with current problems but at this point I think I’ve made the most common errors and this year (year four in this garden), I’ve got so much food, I’m giving it away. (Even to the squirrels!) There’s lots more to say but here’s one takeaway–healthy soil promotes healthy plants. Healthy plants can better resist bad bugs and disease. It can take time to build healthy soil but it works. Solutions like that don’t come in a bottle, I’m afraid, but the upsides are completely worth it. (Squirrel protection–well, that’s a whole different problem, alas! 😉 ) Wishing you all the best!

    • MySapling says:

      Thank you for your comment!

      I haven’t totally given up, it’s just frustrating as heck. It doesn’t help that I have to work around my schedule, my toddler’s schedule, and the killer heat and humidity at the heat of the day- it’s hard to find times that I can safely work in the garden. A lot of it definitely is just being new- I don’t recognize problems until they’re severe. I remember the first time I got spider mites (a few years ago)- at first I thought they were just normal spider webs, it wasn’t until my poor plants died that I finally looked it up! I saw signs of the hornworms a few days before I found them- if I’d thought to look it up, I could’ve found the bugs and saved my plants.

      The soil does seem to be healthy, for all the problems- the plants that remain are doing well. I finally harvested a tomato today and a few more will be ripe for picking within the week. Zucchini are on their way, too. I hope once I actually see some results, it’ll be easier to feel like the work has been worth it.

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