What's Your Toughest Problem So Far with Your Potager This Year?

macgregor(6MA)May 27, 2012

What's the toughest problem you've faced so far this year with your potager?

Mine is not enough room! And it's my own fault. Despite having drawn up numerous plans, I ended up with more vegetables than I have room for (even using intensive gardening!). So now I am having to sort out which perennials I can thin, or take out completely....you know...

But really, are you struggling with what to plant? Or maybe you've changed your mind and that means that you have to redo a bed or two. Or your catmint is taking over your vegetable garden.

Whatever potager-problem you have your brain feverishly working on, share it with us!

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Too much rain! I love the water, but the grass...and the DANDELIONS are out of control! With out clay soil you can't weed until the soil dries out enough to work, and every time it's finally ready...it rains again!

I think we may get some things done this weekend, but I haven't even planted my peas, yet. Can you have all perennials? They look great :)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 7:32PM
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My son's Jack Russell terrier! Not only does she love to dig, but she has figured out how to get over the three foot fence around my potager. She LOVES the soft, fluffy soil in my raised beds, plus she sees me 'hiding' stuff in there, so she has to investigate to see what goodies I've buried. One time she dug up a piece of seed potato and took it into my son's room and dropped it on the bed next to him, as if to say, See what you left outside?? So I'm adding another foot to the fence tomorrow.. sigh... Oh, and she loves chewing the garden hose. So now I have a real soaker hose... except I usually get more soaked than the garden!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 1:12AM
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I am having a lot more insect damage than usual for this time of year. The mild winter and early spring has been kind to the little buggers. I am going out this afternoon with the Neem and see if I can put a stop to some of them.

Except for a big rain on Wed. I was able to work out there 6-8 hrs a day last week, so things are starting to shape up. I dont think things have ever been this far along before the 1st of June (May 31st is our official last frost day, but it was almost 90 yesterday)

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 3:52PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

While I definitely have more bugs this year I think my biggest problem is that I am TIRED. Hubby and I had that big push to finally get all of the rocks in place and now I seem to have lost my mojo. I need to prep an area for corn and another area outside the fence for some sweet meat pumpkins and I also need to start seeds for some of my fall crops like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, etc. It just feels like I am very behind.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 1:08PM
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Maybe you just need a break...we all do when things have been intense in the garden, and you have done a ton of work in yours (and it's beautiful). You probably need a mental as well as physical break from it for a couple days.
Your mojo will return!

Just my two cents - take it easy!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 2:24PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

Mine is timing my summer/fall/winter veges! I always promise to save a couple of beds to start the fall stuff, I can't face semi-vacant real estate! I fill it up!
I no longer have a green house (it blew away =( ), but, I guess I could set up some sort of seed starting area out of the sun.
Another new project! Nancy

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 8:55PM
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Tishtosh - dont you have plenty of time to start seed for Fall crops? If you start them at the end of May, beginning of June ..........6 weeks in pots max and you are planting them mid July. Isnt it pretty darn hot in NM in mid-July?

My growing season is short enough that I dont try for much in the way of Fall crops, so maybe I just dont understand.

It seems to me you could take a week or so of relaxing and admiring what you have accomplished so far.

I spotted my first cabbage worm yesterday - heading out with the BT this morning!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 6:48AM
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Lavender Lass,

I get just what you mean about the perennials. Mine look great too, so great that I am having to thin them out so that my vegetables will have room to grow! I can live with smaller perennials. How ironic sometimes is gardening!

We have had too many dreary days here too. It is so much nicer to go out on a blue-sky day to work in the garden. I am doing a sun dance for all of us to have a nice string of sunny days for our gardens to dry out and be ready for planting and growing!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 9:02AM
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valree3(Nv zone 4)

The weather! Two weeks ago we were in the 70's with low temps in the mid 20s, then over Memorial weekend the high on Sat. was 41 (early morning) then dropped down to 38 durning the day with 3/4 of an inch of rain,snow and hail. Our neighbor who lives nearer to the mountains recieved 7" of snow! It melted by nighfall. We needed the moisture, we have been very dry in our area this winter. This week we are suppose to be in the 70's with lows in the 40's. The past 3 yrs. around 6/16 we have been getting a hard freeze then finally warm weather! Our temps. yo-yos up and down to much. Our growing season is soooo short but we have really beautiful blue skys to work in.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 10:17AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Mandolls, I am in the mountains so my first frost can be as early as Oct 15th. While we may have a couple of weeks in the 90s, it generally is not all that bad temperature wise. I have also found the days to maturity for brassicas worthless, so I am still trying to find out the best time to plant. I do know that waiting for the fall crops from the stores is worthless here, they never mature in time.

Macgregor, I may take a break after I get the areas prepared for the corn and pumpkins. I think I also need to be a better manager and figure out what I can have the oldest do. He has been working on a farm on Saturdays, trying to earn money for camp and the youth group so I need to get him to work here some other time.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 11:43AM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

My toughest problem is that there is too much work to be done and I can't do it all by myself. I garden on a sloped lot and last year there was no path around my new bed and the footing was very treacherous, so this year my goal was to dig out paths as well as adding a new bed. I dug one out myself and it was so much work and left me so tired I decided I couldn't do the rest - so finally my wonderful boyfriend agreed to rent an excavator and he got the rest of the terraces dug in a few hours. Then he built me a new bed for my Tomato family crops this year, now I just have to finish filling it with dirt so I can plant in it... and I really need to get it done within a week, the pressure is on. Oh yeah, then I need to get some fencing up around the whole garden because of the doggies - mine likes to hunt for gophers and my mom's just enjoys digging up freshly planted starts. After all that is done I can finally get back to the flower border I have been working on...

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 11:06AM
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My toughest problem is what in the world should I do with my hardy kiwi? I used to have 5 arches that I grew hops, squash, cherry tomatoes and of course, the kiwi. All 5 arches broke during a freak October snow storm.

I reworked that garden area by putting in 4 4x4 beds for my tomatoes. I left the hops in place but put in a tepee type pole trellis for them.

But the darned kiwi. I shored it up by putting 10' rebar and wire around each of them but its sprouting out all over the place and really looks very messy. With the arches gone it looks so out of place. I'm afraid to move it and I was hoping it might actually make some fruit this year.

My dad who is strictly a function over form veggie gardener even commented on strange it looks where it is.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 11:01PM
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Our new toughest problem is RAIN and MORE RAIN.

Normally I welcome rain of course, but it's been three days of pretty steady rain and the rest of the week looks the same.

If it's dry out at least you can water...I just hope this rain doesn't have a bad effect on the garden.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:05AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

I wish we had some of the rain. Our monsoon season generally hits around July and I am curious to see how intense this one will be.

I did get some sweet corn in. I am debating on whether to do the sweet meat pumpkins. They are a favorite of mine but hubby started I think 10 plants of the cinderella pumpkin and I just do not think we need quite that many. I will be planting a grape vine today though and fortunately I found some peat pots in the garage for starting my fall brassicas. Wal-Mart has been sold out for a while and I did not want to have to bleach the plastic pots so I am making some progress.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 1:11PM
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What kind of grape vine are you planting? And will you have it on a trellis, or some other support? Do you plan to try making wine? (my dad made homemade wine with wild grapes).

I wish I could send some of this rain on to your garden!

Good luck with your planting.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 1:51PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

I purchased a Glenora. This one will grow up the welded-wire fence. With 4 kids aged 14, 11, 8, 5, I doubt there would be anything left for wine making so these will mainly be for eating. I do hope to find some other varieties that may be good for wine making for fun. The source I am considering for that though normally sells them for fall planting.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:25PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

BUGS! It's been fairly moist and warm here, and my old mulch is composting like the dickens and pill bugs are everywhere. They eat off every zinnia I plant, and have been having a hayday with beans and moon flower vines. The vines give cover and help me cool the garden, so it's frustrating not to have them growing in June already! Plus, I want to eat beans.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 12:59PM
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I'm not sure if mine qualifies as a potager yet, but I try and maintain more pattern and symmetry than most gardeners around here, so I like to think of it as one. ;)

Toughest problem so far this year has been too much rain. Everything is yellowing. The older ladies have been congregating at the co-op grocery in huddled groups, fretting about their gardens, too. We were under a tornado watch yesterday evening, but thankfully we were just hit by hail and a little flash flood (the garden paths are full of water and ). I can't believe I just said "thankfully we got hail" lol, but that's how nasty the clouds were looking. There were touchdowns in the province.

We have other issues as well this year, but that one is the biggest.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 10:33AM
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Too much rain here, too. Eastern Washington is normally much drier than the Seattle area...we depend on snowfall to avoid droughts, but this year, you would think we were Seattle. All it does is rain and more rain! Yesterday was nice, but looks like rain again for the next few days. Everytime it looks like we'll have a nice sunny week, more showers move in and they change the darn forecast! Why do I even check the weather forecast???

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 1:52PM
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valree3(Nv zone 4)

lavendar lass- send your rain down my way in northeastern nv! We had maybe 3/4" rain 3 weeks ago and no moisture since then. We have neighbors who haven't been able to irrigate their meadows and hay fields this yr. because we have had such a dry winter. We have also had more wind then normal which drys what moisture we do have. The weather report says that there is a 20% chance of rain this comming weekend! YEA!!!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 4:04PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

Tishtosh - dont you have plenty of time to start seed for Fall crops? If you start them at the end of May, beginning of June ..........6 weeks in pots max and you are planting them mid July. Isnt it pretty darn hot in NM in mid-July?

Mandolls- I was the one grumping about timing the fall veges. I'm in Northern California and our "summer" crop thrives in September and October,sometimes even November! so even if I started the fall/winter crops now, there would be NO room to plant them without pulling something that's producing.
I do try to keep 2 small beds for mostly fall/winter stuff, but it's hard to NOT fill up a bed! Nancy

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 9:05PM
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