In the spring, I declared that this would be the last year to plant broccoli. For several summers running, the harvests have been middling at best. If it weren’t for the fact that I’ve grown ginormous heads of the stuff in other gardens, I might think that the poor performance in this yard is all mine.
This year I grew plants from seed. I also tended to the volunteers that cropped up on their own. No luck. The broccoli crop is a bust.
To make matters worse, the summer squash, the winter squash, and the hot peppers are all equally poor performers.
I am a laissez-faire gardener. It’s worked for me in the past. I do not use chemicals, nor do I weed more than necessary. I mulch and water as required. This practice has served me well for more than twenty-five years. Now, however, I’m ready to throw in the “trowel.”
Clearly, my gardening technique is not working in this yard. There is something questionable in the soil, there are too many bugs and not enough natural predators, and the deer are fickle. Last year I had a bumper crop of butternut squash. We just cooked the last of it this week! This year, Bambi and his gang wiped it out. The hot peppers are pitiful. Cold and wet spring weather stunted their growth. I may harvest a half-dozen peppers from four pathetic plants. The zucchini, sown in a new spot of the yard, yielded three smallish fruits, then up and died. Zucchini! The vegetable of mystery gifts and monster harvests!
All is not lost, however. Cherry tomatoes and bell peppers flourish along the south-facing wall of the house. While the rest of the yard shivers during the cool overnight hours, the brick wall radiates heat and the plants soak it up. Below are images of the bounty. Four Sweet Gold cherry tomato plants span the wall. We harvest about a quart of a day.
So, while the broccoli may be a bust, we are proud of the tomatoes.
You might say that we are busting with pride.
Double double, you might say.
Or is that Double D?