Oh, it is time to own it, fair and square. The garden was a complete and utter failure. I have kept a garden since 2006, when we bought our first house. To whit, they have all been square foot gardens. Some years, just one four foot box; other years, eight, except for the one year we dug a ‘proper’ garden, had it tilled and all, forty feet long and twenty feet wide, so completely over-run by pests and blight that it seemed utterly ridiculous. Even then we made a passing crop of it, enough to enliven the dinner meals for a month or two. Not this year. No sir. Our only takings were a measly head of lettuce early in the season, and a bare handful of spinach.
There were a couple of things at play this year. The medical issues, for one, probably left me more distracted than I would have liked, and I’m sure that played a part. More likely however, is the big honkin’ tree in our backyard. There are spots throughout our yard that stay in full sun, but they shift over the day. We fabricated a square foot garden on wheels this time, that could be shifted across the yard with the sun. If we remembered to move it. I’m afraid our efforts in that regard were quite poor. We’d do fine for a few days and then forget for the next eight. The biggest culprit, suprisingly, though, was the stinkin’ squirrels. They kept eating the buds off of everything! When I caught them mid-way through the summer I was rather flumoxed. I’ve never seen squirrels be so greedy or so magnanimous in their tastes. I also happen to know that the house directly behind our own has six square foot gardens and hers is still going strong, un-trammled by squirrels. It is a total mystery to me why they would prey upon mine and not hers. I plan to slip over there soon and learn of her secrets.
Our other plan went bust, too. The way our house is arranged, there is no place to put a proper fence without blocking off our tiny driveway. Worse still, the neighbors to our left can look straight in to our back porch and yard when they leave their own. The privacy of it all is a wee bit lacking. I guess it wasn’t a total bust, exactly. My husband fabricated some kid-friendly fencing that runs from our back porch door to the side of our garage from shipping pallets. It wouldn’t keep a pet in, but it certainly serves its’ purpose as a visual and physical barrier to my children while playing. I had a thought to run planters along the top length, in which I planted mosquito-averting lemongrass, lavender, and cat-mint, all of which would grow up and out at least another foot or two, granting a visual screen. It never, ever got past the original germination. I don’t know how much of it was the tree above- the fence line itself stays in full sun all day. I am going to have to re-think my plan of attack for next year because I would really, really desire more of a screen there, and green growing anything is always good in urbania.
We are going to attempt some cool- weather crops with a cold-frame of sorts (which would also serve to disturb the squirrel’s efforts). I’m hoping it improves the situation. Regardless, I have a lot of studying and researching for next year’s plans. I am sure there is a solution that will have us back in more zucchini that we know what to do with.