Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What My Vegetable Garden Is Not

We’ve been promised a slight break in the heat for the next few days, so my timing is good to get outside and take a look at the devastation that used to be my vegetable garden.

This is not my vegetable garden.
(Martha Stewart's Bedford, NY garden source)

In June, I shared my hopes that I could maintain one or two tomato plants in hibernation through the worst of the summer heat, along with peppers, okra, squash and the heat-loving Mediterranean herbs.

In fact, I lost everything except for the three-year-old basil plants (no one has told them they are supposed to be biennials). Even the oregano and thyme, strong woody plants that have endured the heat before, succumbed this year.

This is also not my vegetable garden.
(Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens, Florida source)

It wasn’t all due to the heat, though. After I pulled up the dead squash plants, I found squash bugs everywhere. They were running around, desperately looking for a new home/food source. In an instant, I went from a completely blissful ignorance of squash bugs to the certain knowledge that they were responsible for the death of at least two dozen huge squash vines and the lack of fruit on any of them. This revelation canceled out any sympathy I might have had for their little bug lives, and I stomped as many of them as I could. (It wasn’t very many – they are too fast.)

This is definitely not my vegetable garden.
(kitchen garden in Oklahoma source)

I hereby make my annual vow to never again plant vegetables for the summer. Time to move on.

I see that it was on almost exactly this date last year that I was thinking of seeding the winter garden, so I’m right on schedule. This year I’ll go back to the tried and true varieties of some of our veggies: Scarlet Nantes Carrots, Detroit Dark Red Beets, Oregon Sugar Pod Snow Peas. I’ll hope to repeat my good luck with seeding cilantro, dill, and parsley, as well as several varieties of lettuce. This year I’ll try broccoli and cauliflower too!
So with visions of lush vegetable gardens dancing in my head, I’ll hope that the temperatures really do drop to a bearable level and I can at least get outside long enough to clear the weeds and turn the soil this weekend.




  1. Break in our weather here too - this evening I'm wearing a fleece and a padded body warmer after getting chilled through this afternoon. But at least it's stopped raining!
    Summer was a complete flop for our garden but with the opposite climate challenges to yours. Hope the next growing season is kinder to us all.

  2. When I lived in Texas, I hated vegetable gardening for those very reasons. Heat and bugs. Gardening in TX was the bane of my existence. Even this year when the heat destroyed my tomatoes, it still was a better year than any summer gardening in Texas!

  3. Good luck with the winter garden.Like Snippa says we have the opposite to you and long for some warmth to just get things going...but the bugs still manage to survive the cold and wet!!