Angry Man Farm May 23 Update

May 25, 2023

It’s all a mess. Such a mess.

I planted my cold-weather greens (spinach, lettuce, beets) when I normally do, but the weather here in Southern New Jersey warmed up much faster than I thought it would, and I think the heat stunted the growth. Those two underperforming rows at the top half of the bed below should have been lush and, frankly, harvested multiple times by now.

a very scraggly looking square garden bed with scant greens.

The plan to have big tomato and pepper plants in May by planting them in February did not work. I raised these seedlings in the garage on a heat mat, with controlled lighting. I hardened them gradually by bringing them outside for a few hours, than a day, then eventually overnight. And they are STILL SMALL.

TINY tomato plant
what even?

The seeds I planted in April also sputtered. Some sprouted (zucchini, dill, cilantro, nasturtium, borage, radishes), others didn’t (cucumber, sugar snap peas). And this was even after I sent the soil away for testing and fertilized it properly. I give up. I give up!

Nah, I didn’t give up. The larger tomato plants were transplanted into the garden bed and are finally starting to grow. And last weekend I said screw it and went to the local garden center and bought some young plants. Screw it. I planted those suckers and now my May garden looks like a proper May garden. Sometimes you need a little help.

two long garden beds, a little doubful

The wooden raised bed I bought from Wayfair last year warped and the legs bowed. WM saw me about to hurl it across the yard and converted it into a bed that sits on the ground. I planted some basil, dill, rosemary, thyme (the other rosemary & thyme plants lasted 3 years before dying), oregano, and chamomile in it.


Here are the positives:

The flowers are gorgeous. The pink rosebush is majestic. The newer white rosebush is producing wedding-quality white roses. WM planted two smaller rosebushes out front with apricot-colored blooms.

white and pink roses

My potatoes are green and lush. The radishes are growing. There is one wild tomato plant that grew on its own and it’s larger than the ones I grew inside.

buckets of potatoes

And the mint continues to impress. It’s mojito season!


I’m going to try to salvage the tiny tomato plants by repotting them and adding some tomato food. I still love gardening even when the garden doesn’t love me back.

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