Death By Soil Depletion
Nick Started the Season Like This -- 14 Tomatoes -- 12 Sickler Chiles -- One Cucumber Bush
Nick Reaches the Final 1/3 of the Season Like This -- 5 Sickler Chile Plants Remaining. Everything Else Transplanted to Nora or Pulled Out and Tossed Away.
Nora -- I've got to Say -- Is Doing Quite Well.
Yes. Quite Well.
Mr. Bitterman, Furious George and I have been working Nick's soil regularly, but nothing seems to want to grow beyond the angry teenager stage. Meanwhile -- in Nora -- we've hit a bumper crop of cucumbers and acorn squash. Poblanos are doing well, as are the Shishito chiles. Tomatoes are a little behind: the Super Mato (genetically spliced to a quick growing root ball) is producing Early Girl tomatoes, but given that we're 2/3's of the way through the growing season, I'm not sure that Early Girl is the proper name.
I did move the Cherokee Purple tomato plant down to Nora in the hopes of salvaging our sauce production this year. I don't know if it will work. We may have to resort to store bought maters for our winter sauce production.
Too bad. So sad.
So What's the Problem?
Very likely, the problem I'm facing in the bare patch that is Nick is one or two fold.
First, the North side of Nick (on your right) gets some morning sun, but a lot of shade from a neighbor's tree which has flourished over the past two years thanks to spectacular spring rains.
Secondly, I'm betting that it's depleted soil. I've always bought fertilizers or compost or "enriched soil" to add to the garden over the course of the winter, hoping that the nutrients work their way into the ground. That seemed to work for quite a while. This year, however, the ground just sort of petered out. Now, it's dirt -- not good growing dirt, just dirt.
Rather than lose whatever nutrients might be left -- I pulled or transplanted the garden, leaving Nick to fallow. In the next few weeks, I'll begin adding compost and whatever else is advised, hoping to work it all into the soil before Mother's Day slides around again.
I'm also thinking that I'm not going to grow much, if anything from seed next year, as nothing, with the exception of the Sickler Chiles, seemed to take. (And not all of those.) Even the beans, that take next to no attention, seem behind.
I might try some plants from seed in the future, but fewer, and I'm going to transplant them MUCH earlier.
The boys have been binge watching "Game of Thrones" and "Orange is the New Black" for most of the summer. I haven't been watching. I've been staring at Nick most of July (and now August), quietly whispering, "Grow Dammit!"
As you can tell, he has not listened..
Maybe, to give myself a break, now that I've physically dealt with the mediocre results of Nick, I will have the time to wander out and see a good Super Hero Movie.
A Good Old American Superhero --
-- Or, The French Version of the Same.
C'est la vie.
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