My biggest lessons learned from this year's garden:
Rule #1: Don't try to put too much in too small a space, crowding helps disease and bugs spread and suffocates plants.
Rule #2: Don't be afraid to prop up plants early, even if they don't look like they need it.
Rule #3: Earwigs are gross...still.
Rule #4: There is such a thing as too much rain.
Irene brough a hot muggy day Saturday, a drizzle Saturday night that turned into a downpour until about 3pm Sunday that caused massive flooding in surrounding areas Sunday evening into Monday (today). While I am lucky enough to live in an area protected from the floods, many areas were not so lucky and there has been lots of damage to historic bridges and towns. My garden also didn't fare well in the storm.
Before Irene came to town my garden plants had already begun dropping like flies.
As you'll recall I killed one of my tomato plants trying to transplant it (see rule #1).
Then I developed earwigs in some of my lettuce (rules #1 and #3).
My zucchinis then started to look sort of pathetic and now due to crowding and excessive rain I only have 1 of the original 5 plants (see rules #1 and #4).
Also, on Saturday I discovered I'd lost my 2nd tomato plant due to an infestation of earwigs (see rule #3).
Now I have 1 tomato plant, 1 zucchini plant (which I really hope will give me another squash or 2 before kicking the bucket), and 4 lettuce plants.
My basil is doing well in the pots though the lemon basil should probably be transplanted to a larger pot because it is very top heavy and falls over a lot.
The one remaining tomato plant is my green zebra. It is producing a ton of fruit and thriving while the rest of my garden seems to be collapsing around it. Hopefully the rain didn't make it too miserable. I've yet to investigate the plant that was infested by earwigs. The rain may have killed off the disgusting little creepy crawlers but honestly I hate those things so much it gives me the willies just thinking about it. I may have to make the boyfriend look for me though he hates them as much as I do!
The flooding brought on by the hurricane has caused an interesting debate in my head regarding waterway management and flood plains. Many VT towns are effected by flooding while most of NH, which got the same rain and also has a lot of rivers, brooks and streams, has not suffered the same fate. The 2 major differences: NH seems to have a lot more dams. NH towns tend to be built on hills up away from the water while many VT towns seem to be built in the valleys and flood plains. What was once farm land that benefited from an occassional flood is now small towns and communities. So while one might argue that unnatural control of waterways through dams can cause environmental problems and disrupt wild life, it can also be argued that controlling the waterways helps to avert disaster when unusual weather arrives. On the other hand, filling in a marsh to make useful land may be one of those circumstances where "just because you can doesn't mean you should" applies. There is a rural route that travels along a river in NH. In the 1970s my family owned a large stretch of it as farm land. They sold that land next to the river to developers and now it is home to lots of big box stores like Home Depot, KMart, Kohls, Walmart, etc. Last night this whole area had to be evacuated due to rising flood waters, the river rose more than 10ft and filled the parking lots of this shopping meca. Many people were shocked at the sight of it. I think this stretch of land should have remained as farm land. Unfortunately, when desasters like this only come once every 50 years we become complacent and this makes the damage far worse than it needs to be.