Sometimes this garden baffles me

Veg bed looking paltry

This is only my second year with a proper garden, and I really feel like an amateur when I step outside and look at my paltry raised bed, where the only crop doing exceptionally well is the rocket that I never planted in the first place (stray seeds from last year, I suppose?).

The French beans, which had such a good start inside, now look frail and withered. Undernourished? Battered by the wind? I just don’t know.

The french beans are looking worse for wear

The perpetual spinach, which started well, is now yellowing and turning brown at the edges. Is this just a natural part of its life? Are they too crowded?

Why is the spinach turning yellow?

And for some reason, I have never been able to successfully grow sage. Maybe this plant is the culprit, depressing everything around it, except for the ever-hardy wild rocket that thrives behind it.

Why can't I grow sage?

Elsewhere, my tomatoes are looking a little yellow and forlorn (interestingly, the tomato I’m growing indoors is happy as can be). The ever wise Naomi suggests they’re undernourished. Time to get some plant food I think.

Tomato plant turning yellow - why?

The state of the radishes is no mystery; they’re clearly getting nommed on by the most notorious of garden pests.

Something's eating my radish The culprit

But not everything has shrivelled to bits. This is the second year with my container strawberry and raspberry plants, both of which have started to fruit.

Strawberries! Raspberry!

My salad leaves have been a huge success, particularly the mizuna.

Mizuna! More salad coming in

And of course, the rocket, which also made it to my parsley and dill tray. The miracles of nature!

More mystery rocket

It also looks like there will be lots of heritage potatoes this year. My roasting pan is ready and waiting.

Happy potatoes

Even these little spring onions, which I thought were goners, have sprung to life, perhaps just to prove their superiority to the neighbouring sage.

Hanging on for life

So, highs and lows, but it’s all highs really – this garden is a constant education. I still have a bunch of seedlings that need to be planted out – cucumber, melons, more tomato, onions. I’m sorta scared to move them but I know they’re getting a little cramped in their containers. And surely we’re past all worry of frost? (I don’t trust the weather in this country!) So, time to eat some rocket and make room in the raised bed. And time to buy some plant food.

5 thoughts on “Sometimes this garden baffles me

  1. Stephanie Shaw

    I think your biggest problem is soil pH. Those crispy brown ends to some of your leaves are most likely acid burn. I am no pro, but I have seen that before and that was the major problem. In areas that get a lot of rain (you!) soil can be come very acidic. Now that everything is planted, I'm not sure what your options are. I would buy a soil pH tester to have around. Maybe ask your local gardening center if there are any options to rectify pH after you've already planted. Next spring the easiest way is to make sure your pH is right before planting by adding a more alkaline compost, for example.

    I would also be careful about plant food. Some can actually add acidity to the soil making your problem worse. If you have soil with a proper pH that it rich in nutrition from the get go, that should be all you need all season.

    Some veggies grow better in acidic soil than others which may be the variation you're seeing in results. You could always have separate sections of garden with different pH's depending what you want to grow (for next time).

    Just food for thought. I can't be sure pH is your problem, but the symptoms look identical to what I dealt with a couple years ago. It was a painstaking process to figure out what I was doing wrong (I warn about plant food because I made that mistake and my pH went nuts). It turned out to be way more complicated than I thought gardening should be! Alas, good results take hard work and lots of know-how.

    All in all, it's still looking tasty in that garden. I'll take some rocket, please!

    Reply
  2. Carl Legge

    Hi Monica

    The beans are probably suffering from the wind, wet and low temps. Ours got off to a good start and then got dessicated by wind and sulked with the wet & cold. Of course getting eaten by a nest building mouse was terminal.

    If the spinach is last year's it's coming to the end of its life and so reaction is normal. If its this year's then llikely the generally crap weather means it's feeling threatened and it going to seed to preserve its genes. Still time to plant more for later in the season. In fact, depending on variety it's often recommended to sow spinaches that are keen to bolt later in the year so the heat doesn't turn them.

    The sage likes very well drained soil. It might be better in a bed with less good soil and more drainage. Thyme is similar, llikes to be treated rough!

    Good stuff with the potatoes and salads, looking very good. That speckled romaine lettuce is just beautiiful isn't it?

    The weather this year has been very challenging a too early start, fdrought for some and dessicating winds. Kepp on going :)

    Reply
  3. Carl Legge

    Hi Monica

    The beans are probably suffering from the wind, wet and low temps. Ours got off to a good start and then got dessicated by wind and sulked with the wet & cold. Of course, getting eaten by a nest building mouse was terminal.

    If the spinach is last year's it's coming to the end of its life and so reaction is normal. If its this year's then llikely the generally crap weather means it's feeling threatened and it going to seed to preserve its genes. Still time to plant more for later in the season. In fact, depending on variety it's often recommended to sow spinaches that are keen to bolt later in the year so the heat doesn't turn them.

    The sage likes very well drained soil. It might be better in a bed with less good soil and more drainage. Thyme is similar, llikes to be treated rough!

    Good stuff with the potatoes and salads, looking very good. That speckled romaine lettuce is just beautiiful isn't it?

    The weather this year has been very challenging a too early start, fdrought for some and dessicating winds. Keep on going :)

    Reply
  4. Nome

    Lol, I don't think anyone's ever called me wise before! Just going from my own experience, that's all, but it's a good point about pH too, especially seeing the spinach. Hope you figure it out.

    Reply
  5. Monica

    This weather IS challenging. Grateful for all the rain we've had these past couple days though. But the wind continues to give my plants a battering. I guess the thing to do now is check the pH and eat a lot of salads.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>