This summer has been one of the wettest summers I have ever experienced (and definitely the most unsuccessful one ever in terms of results from my backyard garden). Fresh veggies are some of the best ‘healthy’ treats one can have, but this year has been a bust for backyard vegetable gardens… I can’t even imagine what it’s been like for the farmers who do this for a living!
I started my seeds in pots in late March and early April, as most of us do in Ontario. I started out with dozens of carrots, cherry tomatoes, hot house tomatoes, beets and a few yellow beans, cucumbers and spinach. My veggies always do well for the first two months indoors and then after the May 24 weekend, they move outdoors… and the elements, insects and animals have their way with them and make it all the more difficult to yield any crops. I even outsmarted the bunnies this year and put chicken wire around my gardens at grass-level and added sun shades for my veggies, as we get full sun all day in our backyard (assuming it’s not raining every day).
One mistake that I think I made was putting my veggies out when they were too small to withstand all the rain. I lost nearly all of my carrots the first month that they were outside. And with the moist dirt, the bugs were much more active than usual and I had to toss most of my Spinach during that time too. Slowly, my plants started to grow, but many of them didn’t make it due to the excess amount of rainfall and lack of sunshine – they just didn’t have a chance to live! The only veggies that seemed to withstand all the rain we had were the tomatoes (and the ones in our protected above-ground enclosure are doing the best). But even with my tomatoes, I have only received one ripe cherry tomato so far this season out of dozens of tomato plants. Most are still too small to produce anything and I have lowered my expectations of any ripening before the first front hits (there are a handful of green tomatoes at the moment).
Of the dozens of veggie plants I started out with in May, my yield has been pitiful:
Last year, I had an abundance of tomatoes and I barely even cared for them, letting them grow wild for close to a week at a time. This year things went downhill drastically because of all the rain, even with routine watering and maintenance. Of course, this week, we’ve had glorious weather here, but I don’t think it will be enough to make up for an entire summer of rain... Hopefully next year will be bring brighter days.
I'm a 20-something woman working my way through life in Canada, traveling when I can afford it and seeking out my passions one day at a time.