My grandfather had a saying, "Seed your wild oats on Saturday and pray for a crop failure on Sunday." I never turned out to be that kind of kid but my most recent seeding, navy beans in this case, were an utter failure even if there were no prayers involved.
I think the biggest culprit in their failure was bad seed to begin with. From what I dug up, only one in five seeds ever germinated. Another culprit was that the wet weather and my hectic schedule meant that they got planted in fairly wet conditions, wetter than I normally would even consider planting them. The final straw that broke the camel's back was that because I had lots of good leaf mulch from last fall on my garden but not enough space to rake it back when planting the rows, it collapsed back over the rows with every little breeze and rain we got. I dug them out a few times but I just couldn't keep up. When I dug them out again last night, the few seeds that had sprouted had sprouts nearly five inches long that had been futively looking for light but unable to get above the leaves. The poor little guys just never stood a chance.
So rather than just live with a poor stand that will give me perhaps a double handful of beans in the end, I am going to go to plan B and pick up some tomato and pepper plants on my way home tonight and stick them in the ground. It's better than nothing but dang, I had my heart set on some navy bean soup this winter.
As Ron from Hickory Hills always does, I hope I have learned a valuable lesson from this failure and next year will be better. My learned lesson is that while the leaf mulch is good, I can't store all of it on my tiny garden over winter. It doesn't dry out fast enough in the spring and I have no place to move it when planting. So this fall, I think I will bag it up and put in in the shed until spring and the plants are already up before redepositing it on the garden. Now if plan B works out....