I may be a pretty good triathlete, a fairly decent cook who continues to learn, a semi-computer geek who likes databases, and a wine and cheese connoisseur, but as a gardener, it's plain and simple: I sucked this year.
The only thing that has been bright and plentiful is my basil.
The green, full tomato plants I so excitedly took pictures of a couple months ago have, um...well..I won't take a picture because it's just sad. I've pulled out 3 out of the 6 plants and laid them to rest. I'm considering yanking the other 3 as well.
Basically I learned the following:
- When using half wine barrels as planters, it is wise to drill holes in the bottom. Particularly before your plants start dying.
- Organic pest spray (for white flies and aphids, which I had BOTH of) is crap. Use the real stuff. You're going to wash your tomatoes anyway.
- When using half wine barrels, it may be wise to consider lining them, as it is possible acid from the wine can leach into the soil (this is a guess on my part).
- Consider using high quality soil and not stuff from Ace Hardware. I believe in addition to poor drainage and pests, my poor plants didn't have enough nutrients in the soil and lacked nitrogen.
- Don't over water tomatoes. Just don't.
Now I have all this basil and no tomatoes and I'll have to go to the farmer's market to buy somebody ELSE'S home-grown tomatoes. Or go visit my mom and pick some off her plants.
Live and learn!