My Green Thumb Turns Brown

Since I moved in to my house, I’ve planted a garden every year. Some years are better than others, and I always have a few mishaps: Some flowers die, and I’ve never been able to successfully grow peppers. But usually we get some pretty flowers and a whole bunch of tomatoes and some cucumbers out of it.

But this year has just been one mishap after another.

Since we were debating how to go about treating our building for termites, I held off planting because my garden planter is up against the building, and would have to be included in the tenting, which would likely kill all the plants. Once that was resolved, I planted some marigolds, a gerbera daisy, and a pair of cherry tomato plants. I also planted my usual assortment of herbs.

Well, the marigolds and daisy have all done really well (except for one marigold plant that didn’t quite make it), but the tomato plants have had a rough time of it. We’ve got some field mice in the yard this year which I suspect have been taking the green tomato fruits (and also licking the grease from the grease trap in the grill – ew). I finally put some netting over the plants, and that seemed to help, but one of the plants has had one of its stalks die, and the rest of it doesn’t seem to be in great shape either. So rather than having a boatload of tomatoes, we might only get a handful this year.

On top of that, the basil plants have not been doing so great, even though I bought a large pot for them this year. Usually they last until the frost sets in, but two of the three plants are looking pretty sickly, and I don’t know why. (The third one is newer than the first two, so maybe the first two were just from a bad batch?).

It’s kind of a bummer overall. We also have some squirrels who like to chew on the bark of the trees over my patio (I’ve seen them do this), which kills the branch they chew on, which means extra dead leaves in the yard in the middle of summer. Annoying. On the other hand, this gives me some incentive to prune the trees back a bit, which they usually need anyway. (Some of the dead limbs are too high for me to reach, though, even with my 20-foot extension pruner.)

On the bright side, the flowers I planted on the upstairs porch have been doing well this year, and we have some holdovers from last year that are still kicking as well. So I don’t feel like a total failure!

I’m gonna miss having the tomatoes, though.