Coping With Garden Failure

Reader Contribution by Faithful Homesteader
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We had such high hopes for our North Texas garden this year. I was especially looking forward to corn, tomatoes and squash. We planted thousands of about two dozen different crops. This year for the first time, we planted flowers as well, and I was really looking forward to their beauty. My husband really put a lot of work into the garden, but we learned that there is so much that is beyond our control.

We planted using techniques for our usual hot and dry summer, but that worked against us this year. Earlier in the year, we were in a drought. Some places near us could only water once every couple of weeks because of it. However, the drought was soon erased, and flooding was a real issue after the wettest May ever recorded for our area. Our garden was collateral damage as it ended up being so waterlogged that not much would grow. In fact, it was under water for about a month. Early on in the season, I had posted a photograph of one of our peach trees because it was looking so good, but not long after, it was dead.

Our peach tree before it died.

We planted wild stock tomatoes, and they are still the same size as when we put them in the ground. Last year our tomatoes did so well they produced even when the temperatures were in the triple digits. They were still producing when we had an early freeze. I am hoping somehow that they will produce.

Our tomatoes have barely grown since we planted them early in the season.

We did try to plant two more times, but the rain just kept coming. A couple of our squash plants are producing a small amount, and we have some peppers. However, the only big success this year was our overabundance of blackberries and a decent harvest of green beans from the few plants that survived.

Our first harvest of blackberries.

Green bean harvest.

One thing I really looked forward to was sunflowers. We did actually get some sunflowers, but they are already dying. For a fleeting moment, I was able to enjoy their beauty. They are such a happy looking flower.

Loved our sunflowers.

Our dead corn before my husband mowed it down.

Now we will just have to enjoy what little our garden is yielding and prepare for our fall garden. I hope that it will be much more successful. We know we are not alone in our garden woes. It is sad to see what people have had to deal with, especially those whose livelihood is totally tied to their crop yields. I get jealous when I see photos of gardens that are doing well this year. Gardening can teach a hard lesson that we are not in charge. How is your garden this year?

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