Our veggie garden was a bust. Everything grew huge, but we had no actual food except for the kale. Not much under the earth in carrots or radishes.
Tomato stems are very big but not even one tomato is growing - the same for peas and cukes. Did we plant too much in one eight-foot by eight-foot planter?
I wonder what fertilizer you used. It sounds as if your soil is overly rich in nitrogen.
Nitrogen creates huge stems and leaves but does nothing to help fruiting.
Or perhaps you used a large quantity of manure or compost.
It's a telling point that your kale did very well.
Any other type of cab-bage or leafy crop would also have produced lots of food for you.
There's always a builtin problem if you grow crops that need different soil conditions in the same bed but fertilize all the soil the same way. Carrots and radishes like a little nutrition, but roots won't form if the soil is super rich.
Fertilizers (organic and non-organic) have three numbers on the packet.
The first is nitrogen, the second phosphorus and the third potash.
Phosphorus strengthens roots and helps plants produce fruit and seeds. Potassium also helps fruiting and increases diseaseresistance.
Peas don't do well in high nitrogen situations. But you should have had some pods showing by now unless you planted them very late.
Shady situations and pollination problems can also reduce pea crops.
Don't give up on your tomatoes or cukes just yet. It was a wet, cold spring and everything's late. Do you have flowers on your tomatoes?
Since you've just one veggie bed, it might be best to plant it in three squarish blocks: one for leafy plants, a second for root vegetables and a third for anything that gives fruit (peas, tomatoes, cukes, etc.). This would also help you with crop rotation.
I hope you like cabbage, Fiona. Planting a bed of broccoli, head cabbage, lettuce or chard would help you use up all that nitrogen. So would anything else where you eat the leaves, stems or both.
I would like to build up a landscape box, add more soil and make a hosta bed in the shade of my wisteria. Wisteria 'whips' grow all through the soil and I'm concerned these will leave no nutrients for the hostas.
My plan is to place cardboard over the existing soil and build up the box and soil 'lasagne garden style.'
I am removing the wisteria whips. Will this plan be OK for the hostas and the wisteria?
Once wisterias begin suckering they continue every year - and the suckers will break through the cardboard before long.
So you will have a yearly routine of peeking around your hostas to cut back the wisteria suckers.
But wisterias and hostas like moist rich soil so the two types of plants will be very good companions - and the wisteria suckers will keep coming no matter what perennials you use as companions.
At least hostas look so different from wisteria leaves it will be easy to tell them apart. If you mulch yearly with compost or organic fertilizer, the hostas nutriment needs will be met. The wisteria will get most of its nourishment much further afield.
Anne Marrison is happy to answer garden questions. Send them to her via amarri firstname.lastname@example.org.