How the Garden Went This Year

Well, all in all, my garden was pretty much a bust. The cat ate the pepper and eggplant seedlings and gnawed away on my peanut plants, too. I put what was left of the peanut plants outside where some pesky pest finished them off. I only got a handful of Kentucky Wonder beans. Don’t know why. The vines are very lush. Same thing happened with the tomatoes. And the weird thing is, I didn’t fertilize them. I know if you over do it with fertilizer, you get lots of beautiful green growth and no veggies. Maybe they did need fertilizer. I’m reading up on organic feeding. The cucumbers and the bush beans I planted were lost in the drought. The one thing that has done OK is the purple hull peas. The ones that survived the dry spring, that is.

Most of what I planted were heirloom seeds. I have learned that you have to experiment with different varieties of them to find what will work in your area. Like most gardeners, I won’t give up. I’d even like to try the same ones again in part of the garden. I need to go with something I know will work and let my new ones be my trial area, instead of putting in a whole trial garden. Can’t believe that didn’t occur to me before I did it with tomatoes.  And I’ll try these again because I still have seeds and because each year growing conditions are a bit different.

I did some reading and found several things I need to do to improve my garden. My walkways and beds need to be permanent. I need to fence in the garden. I’ll probably go ahead and do the whole back yard. My father-in-law has offered chickens to me twice but I need to be able to keep roaming dogs out of the yard. Also, we need to install a drip irrigation system. When I tried to water the garden in the spring the ground was so dry it washed the dirt away instead of soaking in. The remedy for that was to water twice a day so the ground didn’t get so dry between watering. And I never knew if I was watering enough. Probably not.

By late spring I didn’t have a whole lot of time for the garden. I had to get my shed painted before it got too hot for the paint. And for me. The temperature and humidity info is on the can for a reason, and I only wanted to do this once. Well, eventually it will have to be done again but maybe by then my new grandson will be old enough to help. (Had to work that in, didn’t I?)

So, I’m ready to tear out the tomato plants and the weeds and get the whole bed and pathway plan in place. And I need to keep taking notes on feeding organically. I’m making a garden notebook so I can gather everything I need to know and do into one place. That way, I can make a plan and also keep a record of what I’ve planted and all I’ve done to care for it. And maybe next time I’ll have oodles and oodles of tomatoes and can make salsa and tomato sauce and can some of them and there will be lots of cucumbers and I can make pickles and lots of beans to can and peppers to pickle and…

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