Growing a green thumb

I planted a garden this year just like many others in this pandemic year. It was not a large garden measuring a scant three feet by eight feet. It was a raised garden so that I didn’t have to bend over to weed or pick vegetables. The rows of radishes, beets, lettuce, carrots, spinach, swiss chard and kale were probably all planted too close together. To protect the garden from the deer that frequent our yard, we installed chicken wire that rose to seven feet above the ground.
The rows were very straight, and my wife and I were both extremely excited as all the new plants busted through the soil. It was quickly evident that I had not planted the carrots well. Right off the bat I should have recognized that they should have been thinned early. I failed to do that.
We enjoyed the fresh spinach from the beginning along with the two types of lettuce. The radishes seemed to fail by early July and in late June we planted a second row of spinach. Only three plants grew, and the leaves were all tiny not like the first planting that produced large leaves.
The first two weeks of July we were at the cabin and we almost lost the entire garden. Everything seemed wilted and dead. We had almost baked the entire garden along with the cherry tomatoes in pots. Our other herbs thrived.
You can tell I am not a green thumb gardener. We were able to revive most of the garden by almost drowning all the plants. It is a good thing that the raised garden had three inches of free space to hold water above the ground. Combined with some fertilizer everything seemed to stiffen up again, reaching for the sun.
Our day lilies surrounding our yard were doing well. The blossoms were hundreds. We only saw maybe a dozen flowers as the deer discovered them and nipped them off at the base of the blossom. Two weekends ago, we arrived home from the lake only to discover all my wife’s gorgeous begonias eaten off right to the ground level. Nothing was left except the roots. They were right up at the back door of our house.
We also discovered that the staples we had used for the chicken wire had been pulled loose and half of the swiss chard, beets and all the remaining lettuce had been eaten. I have replaced the staples with roofing nails, and they are holding, although I can see that they have tried to knock down the fencing again.
It is time to harvest. We have a great crop of beets, carrots and parsnips. We will be drying and freezing the herbs. The deer have not bothered the sage, basil, thyme, oregano and rosemary. That is a surprise.
It has been a good experiment and we will repeat it again. Now if someone would only harvest the deer, our gardens would be so much more successful.