Sunday, October 18, 2015

Post-season Garden Review (No, There was No Pre-season Preview)

I did have a vegetable garden this year. I even started plants from seed in my basement. I just didn't blog about it because this spring I was so rushed and the garden looked so incredibly puny and frail. I didn't have high hopes. While it was more productive than last year, it wasn't quite what I had in mind this year either. But there were problems all summer.

I think I can illustrate the main problem by way of a list of the things I grew.

Carmello tomato (eaten by rabbits)
Big Beef tomato
Aunt Ruby's German Green tomato
Corno di Toro sweet pepper (eaten by rabbits and replanted with starts from hardware store)
Bennings Green Tint patty pan summer squash
Dill (eaten by rabbits)
Purple podded pole beans (eaten by rabbits)
Basil (eaten by rabbits)
Onions (eaten by rabbits)

Bunnies are not cute, people. They are toothy little bastards, descendants of the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog, and all they do is eat and destroy, eat and destroy. In their spare time they breed like, well, rabbits, and produce more of their evil and all-consuming kind.

By mid-summer I had most of my really prized things fenced. My few rose bushes were never freed from their mesh prison this season, which is a sad way to enjoy rose bushes, but I was tired of spending my money replacing things. But it was too late to start over on beans and onions, and the dill I tried again never came up.

In spite of the the eleventh plague of Egypt that was rabbits, it didn't go all badly. We got a ton of summer squash. Here are some that hid from me and grew too large to eat, though they sure were pretty:

I would estimate we got about two to three bushels of tomatoes from just two plants. I'm not sure I will grow the Aunt Ruby's German Green again. I grew them because I had an Aunt Ruby (who was German, no less), and the name just made it too good to refuse. It was a handsome-looking plant, if you can consider a tomato plant handsome. But I found the tomatoes overly sweet and a little too watery, and I don't have enough space to grow things just out of a sense of novelty, despite my nostalgia for my Aunt Ruby, rest her soul.

It was nice enough just to have an unlimited supply of slicing tomatoes for sandwiches and hamburgers and salads, and a few squash and peppers for the summer supper table. With an earlier and better line of defense against the &*$# rabbits next year, I hope to do better.

We also had an assist from elsewhere in September, in the form of apples from my aunt and uncle's farm in Missouri. I will never have the room here for orchard fruit with my postage stamp yard, so it was nice to have this. They became pies and happy bellies in short order.

My goal is to eventually have the back yard entirely in garden, with little to no grass. Flowers and vegetables and paths. This was a good learning year, and I'm already looking forward to next year and more progress.


  1. I would love to have a similar garden, and time to learn how to really grow things. I'm finding it's not just about the growing--it's about timing, and what to do with what grows. We grew some stuff that we never ate. We tried to grow some other stuff that didn't really grow. Sadly, our problems weren't rabbits. It was my lack of commitment to the garden. There were some good reasons for that, but the plants don't care, do they? Please tell me how to grow tomatoes. We've never been able to figure it out, three years running. Yours look great!

  2. Good to hear that your garden fed you well, in addition to feeding the neighborhood rabbits. (I have lost WAY too many baby roses to those nasty critters. I have no love for them, I don't care how cute they are.)

    1. This next year I plan on trapping and relocating some of them. They've reached nuisance levels. And I'd like to let my roses out of their cages!