Every year, I try to grow food. Years ago, I put in several crops, including corn, eggplant, squash.
Now I'm down to two crops – three if you count strawberries, which grow by themselves, for the chipmunks. I grow cayenne and other peppers because I like spicy. And I grow tomatoes because most of the ones in stores taste like cardboard and ought to be illegal.
So, as usual I planted my two crops in pots in late May – after frost danger was past. Since then, it seems the weather has played only two tunes: Rain and drought, alternating between the two.
During that time, I've carried enough water to those plants to float a boat. I kept them alive, but the patio tomato vine broke in half sometime in July, leaving half the original fruit. I reasoned that was a good thing, as the half vine needed less water.
Onward I gamely struggled, dragging my two plants to August, trying to protect them from heat, rot, drought. I dusted them with diatomaceous earth to fend off slugs (see picture below), which materialize whenever rain interrupts drought for a day.
I picked those two tomatoes recently. By the time I cut away all the rot, about two bites were left. The others have been stuck on green for weeks. And they're still hard as stones.
As for the other crop, here's the container of four peppers, followed by an image of my harvest so far: a giant cow horn that apparently managed to take in steroids from the air.
A cayenne this size would be terrific if it had any fire in it, but unlike other green cayennes I've eaten, this one was as mild as a bell pepper. Meanwhile, others in the pot show no signs of turning red. Or hot.
So, what does this all mean?
Except for herbs, food-growing eludes me; I did not get the gene, even though my parents were masterful food growers. I do not like trying to survive crop-destroying critters and weather in order to eke out iffy crops. It makes much more sense for me to leave food-growing to those who can. Meanwhile, I'll try hard to buy locally grown produce at seasonal markets.
Every year I have to re-learn these truths.
Well, no more. I'm done. From now on, I'll focus on my day job: ornamental gardening.