Summer Gardening and its Challenges

English: Bright Lights Swiss Chard with red an...

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I love summer. It brings about one of my favorite activities, which is gardening, more specifically vegetable gardening! What more cost-effective way of growing organic fruits and vegetables is there? Buy a small sprout or plant for under $3 and provided it survives will harvest 3x if not more that amount.

I’m still a newbie to this pastime but have had a lot of fun testing different plants around the garden to see what grows well and what does not. This year so far I have peppers, brussel sprouts, kale, swiss chard, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes and squash. I also have a herb box on my deck an arm’s length away from my door.

My biggest challenge has always been squash plants. I have tried now for three years in a row to grow them in the garden to no avail!  The first year they grew big and fluffy overtaking my poor innocent basil plant.  As soon as they started producing some ugly squash vine borer infested them rotting them from the inside out.   I was pissed!  Literally those bugs are nothing but a pest.  They burrow inside the stems of your plants where they lay their eggs and hatch right inside killing your plant and produce from the inside out!

So to prepare, the next year I relocated them to a different area in my yard in hopes that those insects would not follow.  I even found an organic grain bug deterrent from my local Ace.  Just as they were starting to grow one night a big, fat raccoon climbed into my yard and ate the whole damn plant!  All that was left was a few bite marks and soppy goop from the raccoon’s saliva.  Gross.

So this year I am trying again.  Third time’s the charm right?  Can you tell I’m determined to master this?   I have put the plants again in a new spot, added the natural bug deterrent and put chicken wire around the vegetable plot to try to keep out raccoon, bunnies or whatever other invader might try to poke his way through.  So far so good, I will keep you posted with the outcome of this  year’s attempt.

Whats growing in your vegetable garden? Any advice for pesky invaders? Please share below we can all learn from each other new best practices in  gardening.

Written by Kimberly Evans