Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lessons for next year

This year in the garden has taught me some good things for next year.  In some areas, it went very well.  I have had lots of beans all year long.  My beet crop will be good and my second planting of peas (especially in full sun under the sprinkler) did really well and gave me peas until August 15th. My peas and squashes did well together, and when the peas came out, it gave the squash the perfect room. The basil supply is ideal for Mike's obsession, as are the three mint plants for my family drinking ice tea. The apples are a few more than we need, so if we don't have a lot of guests, I should give some away. One row of chard and repeated plantings of spinach is shady beds is the exact amount we need in summer months

Notes for next year:
  • Plant twice as many pickling cucumbers as slicers
  • Plant 1/3 Cherry and Pear tomatoes, and the rest in Early Girl and Romas
  • It is fine if carrots are a bit patchy. Water a lot in the spring. Carrot tapes are dumb
  • Cut the flower off of the garlic for bigger bulbs. Plant Saskatchewan Garlic in Oct.
  • Small pumpkins are best
  • Zucchini will do fine with half sun
  • Planting beets next to peas gives beets room to grow when peas come out
  • Buy dense mesh for the cabbage moths and pin it in lots of places
  • Plant more Romain at the end of June and in the second week of August
Today I was out in my garden dead heading flowers and weeding a bit (this is my second attempt in August, when I rarely weed as plants are well established), and I was thinking that  I am delighted with the amount of produce given the hail.  We have enough tomatoes this week to eat them all week and make large pizzas.  I hope we have enough in the end for salsa. It is nice to have learned so much about planting that I actually get nearly twice as much as I did when I moved into this house.

Today is Mike and I's anniversary - we've been married 17 years. I can remember how excited we were to have a "garden feast" a week before the wedding out of our second garden at 518 Albert Ave.  It was small potatoes, dill weed, and beans.  I can so easily put that to shame now, but the lessons I learned planting those first gardens only get refined over the years of gardening and marriage.  They are simple things, like tending to little issues means you don't have disasters, or when there is a disaster, hard work and focusing on the positive helps you pull together to get it solved. Like my garden, my marriage can do so much more now that we have more expertise and experience, but it still has issues that set things back.  After hail on the garden this week and the failure to order windows, I am reminded that focusing on the harvest you do get helps you to keep loving your garden.

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