Garden Fail

It's been said that Thomas Jefferson kept detailed notes about his successes and failures in his garden at Monticello. It's also been said that he was one of the only gardeners to admit to as much failure as he had. Drought was often the cause of crop failure, at least according to A Rich Spot of Earth, a book about Jefferson's garden at Monticello (which is one of my favorite places to be).

So in honor of TJ, here's a post about a whole bunch of garden fail.

The past few weeks have been unseasonably cold. Our normal last frost date is April 15, and yet we got a frost a few days ago (late April). The last 2 years have had very warm springs, and one could say I was spoiled by how warm the springs were.

This year, I set out my tomatoes on April 9, very early. I started them early, so they were monsters and needed to go outside. The same goes for my peppers.

Well, let's just say that I learned a very important lesson in gardening this year. A late frost handed me my hat, so to speak. About 10% of my crop suffered frost damage, and I lost a couple tomato plants.

On top of that, at the beginning of the month, we had above average temperatures. Temps were well into the  high 80s - low 90s for almost an entire week, which caused my broccoli to button. (Buttoning is when broccoli forms a small head, much like a floret.) So I'll try broccoli again in the fall when things cool down.

Thomas Jefferson said the success of one crop outdid the failure of another. I purchased a few starts to replace the ones I'm going to lose due to frost damage, and am keeping them inside at night until early next week. Here's hoping that I have some successes in the garden this year to outweigh the loss of the broccoli and tomatoes.

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