Vegetable Garden Failure Report!

Vegetable Garden Failure Report!

by / 14 Comments / 705 View / September 14, 2008

EdenMaker Confession

This is ugly, so if you have a weak stomach, go on to another blog site like Soliloquy with beautiful words and photos because Nancy Bond would never gross you out.

 I wish I could say that being a professional garden designer, gardening coach, etc., etc. makes me immune to gardening failures, but alas, it makes me even more vulnerable! While I’m out helping other people with their gardens, my garden acts up! 

Take a look at what my vegetable plants have been up to while my back is turned:


Tomato infested with pill bugs. Yuck!

I thought pill bugs are only interested in decomposing matter in the garden and won’t touch thriving plants! This was a luscious looking heirloom tomato that I picked to eat the other day. I pulled it off, turned it around to check all sides, and this is what I found on the backside. I instinctively, let the tomato fall from my hand- gross! How could this happen?  I looked closer and noticed that pill bugs were all over the tall vining plants.

The bugs were “piggy backing” on each other to get higher up on the plant. I have to admit, this is new to me. Never had a pill bug problem. Anyone have some clever ideas how to control them? I’m getting ready for my fall vegetable  garden and want to evict these killer pill bugs!  


Anemic and overgrown yellow cucumber next to the last good cucumber in my garden.

On another front, it is time to wrap up the cucumber party. The only cukes I’m getting these days are misshaped, yellow and bitter. (It doesn’t help that I’ve been too busy to tend to them during the last 3 weeks). So, cukes will be cukes and I’m not surprised by their rebellion- I’ve been an absentee gardener and they  are peeved! 


So, I’ve shown you my dirt. What failures are you experiencing in your vegetable garden these days? Don’t be shy, lets start a support group.     

14 Comment

  1. I have all a cucumber, watermelon, and squash plant all in the same bed and cant remember which is which. but my fruit looks like your cuc, big and yellow. Maybe even more yellow. I don’t know for sure.

  2. Hi there,
    I am nearly over my organic vegetable garden. I live in Melbourne Australia, not far from Port Phillip Bay so our soil is very sandy. I have raised beds. They have had hen house straw, worm castings, horse poo, home made compost, green crop (peas), pea straw, chook poo, dynamic lifter, some lime at odd times. My vegetables are pathetic. I have a drip system. We are in drought in Melbourne which doesn’t help. My tomatoes start off well, flower, fruit and fizzle. Beans are stunted and not prolific. I have great pumpkins.’
    Cucumbers failing to fruit. Carrots – fair. Zucchinis start off well, get mildew and fizzle. What am I doing wrong? should I get my soil tested? What can I add that will help?

  3. We’ve had such a cool, wet summer, our tomatoes just don’t want to ripen. We’ve only harvested a few cherry tomatoes! Of course, it doesn’t help that they were planted late. You know how it goes…our own garden is always the last to get taken care of.

    However, we’ve got zucchini coming out our ears and running out of things to do with it!

  4. Hi Anna.
    That Cape Fear River story lives up to its name! Beware of the tomatoes!
    I see that you are also on the challenged gardener list this season- welcome to the club.
    I like your wave and have a clear picture of you doing it! What a character you are Anna.

  5. I bet if we knew what else lurked in our gardens, we wouldn’t venture out there.
    Your mater looks pitiful. I wouldn’t suggest that you open a produce stand right now or you’ll starve from the proceeds. Keep you day job. If anyone has seen pictures of your gardens they know this little mater is not what you normally do to your plants. We’ll let this one slide for now.

    I got to tell you this story Shirley. First though—my big fiasco was squash bugs. I let them get out of hand on the squash and they moved to the watermelons, gourds, and pumpkins. It was a war zone.

    Ok, my story—Soon I’m doing a post on my weblog featuring a man who grew up on the banks of the Cape Fear River. One day, he was out on those rich black shores and saw the most beautiful tomato bushes growing everywhere. He collected as many as he could to carry home to his family.

    They feasted on those maters gobbling them down in one meal. About two hours after the meal they got sick to the point of death. During that time and I guess it was the 1930’s, raw sewage was dumped in the Cape Fear River.

    They got the worse case of scooty poos ever documented far and near. It could have killed him but it didn’t and he lived to tell that story. Now you know not to eat maters growing on the banks of the Cape Fear River.

    Now I’m signing off with the 4 swing hand wave that models do. A redneck wave that most NCers do involves a spastic hand waving up and down. Your mater above almost needed a redneck wave.

  6. Hi Tina- Welcome! I’ve investigated and I have virtually no slugs in this raised garden. The mystery continues with the pill bug raid. Hey, I always thought they were innocent too but they have really turned on me.

    Sorry to hear about your garden challenges. We won’t give up, though, will we? We will be back!

  7. Shirley,
    Are you sure it wasn’t slugs doing the initial damage and the pill bugs moved in to clean up the carnage post-haste?
    People seem to immediately jump to the conclusion that the pill bugs are to blame when in actuality, they’re just ‘taking the garbage to the curb’. 🙂
    Do to crapolla weather this year, my melons and cukes ended up being a total bust! 3 lousy quarts of dill pickles. Very disheartening.
    But…there’s always next year! Us gardeners are a stubborn lot.

  8. Hi Linda, You get a “hall pass” this season. Have you tried veggie gardening before? It’s very satisfying when you don’t get infestations!

    Hi Robin- What is up with these pill bugs? So you don’t have a clue either. Anyone out there able to help out Robin and me? Good luck getting rid of them.

    Hi Nancy- Your blog is the epitome of beauty, you were the obvious mention as the antithesis of what I was showing today! By the way Nancy and all of the above blogging friends- anyone going to the Garden Writiers Convention next week?


  9. Thanks for your very generous reference, by the way! 🙂 And the bugs and tomato — eeewww. Gross is right! I didn’t plant any vegetables this year, so I don’t have any failures to report in that area. Well, I lie — I do have three jalapeno pepper plants, but they’re doing really well, if somewhat slow to ripen. 🙂

  10. I’ve had a terrible pill bug problem this year. They destroyed several perennials. I sure wish I knew an organic method to rid my garden of these pests.

  11. Hi Shirley, my big veggie garden failure this year is . . . um. . . I didn’t have a veggie garden!

    Hopefully next year will be the year!

  12. Hi Carol
    – What a wonderful treat to have you stop by! Thanks.
    So that makes at least two of us who are not perfect gardeners. Whew! I have so much pressure to get everything right all the time…..but, I have to keep it real!
    I’m going over to visit you now and see what you are up to.

    Racquel- Welcome!
    I love your name- just like my niece. Too bad about your veggies. It’s a bummer to toil over our plots and then (sometimes) have a disappointing crop. Your garden is looking beautiful!

    I’m g

  13. It happens to us all Shirley. Life gets in the way of gardening sometimes. It’s been a weird year for growing veggies for me. My squash got squash vine borer & my tomatoes got the dreaded blight. Next season is a new year. Thanks for visiting my blog today. 🙂

  14. My vegetable garden acted up in much the same way. The cucumbers seemed to know when I was gone and would grow at 10 times their normal rate so by the time I got out there to pick them, they were overgrown and bloated. And many of my tomatoes cracked after some recent rains. I guess they tried to take up too much water too quickly, after a month of being dry. I hide these ‘dirty little secrets” of the vegetable garden down under the top layer in the compost bins!

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