[ View The "My Garden" Video ]
Well, this was an interesting year. For reasons I won’t go into, I got a very, very,
very late start this year. And even when I finally got started, I wasn’t able
to follow through in a timely fashion. But in a way, I did make some progress
in certain respects which will benefit me in the years to follow.
So, the good thing is that I finally put together a new “mini hot house” design
and already know the improvements I have to make for it next year. The dimensions
are 60” deep x 78” wide and as you can see, it has plenty of shelf space. The
bricks and the water filled bottles capture the heat during the day and release
it at night. An afterthought on this is that I should have put some straw bedding
beneath the bricks to prevent the weeds from coming through. That will be fixed
I started a whole host of seeds which I then stored in the hot house. Unfortunately,
my not being to follow through quickly enough caused most of the started and sprouted
seeds to shrivel up and die. So, I had to restart the reseeding. By the time I got to
transplanting, it was already late in the summer. Nature has its own rules. So I may
be doing a lot of work for no avail this year. We’ll see.
For the most part I did not buy any new seeds this year. I used the left over seeds
from last year and some from the year before. For my beefsteak tomatoes and sweet
peppers (after the afore mentioned disaster) I bought peppers and beefsteaks at
the organic farm where I frequently shop and extracted the seeds from those. They
did sprout, but again it may be a bit too late. I also bought the potatoes there
and used them as seeds.
I did however manage to make a meal out of some string beans I harvested. I steamed
them. They were so creamy and delicious! And of course I am still enjoying my
blackberries which keep coming back year after year.
I have started a new thing this year though it might be a moot point since I may
be harvesting nothing. But I started to weigh what I harvest (for instance the
string beans). I then enter the results into a spread sheet. This will give me
a sense of volume. Of course, it’s hard to weigh the blackberries I harvest since
I eat them right then and there in the garden!
I did manage to plant 18 potatoes (9 Yukon Golds and 9 Red Potatoes) in one of
the plots. So far, only 9 plants seem to have sprouted. At a later date, I also
planted 4 potatoes in each of the 2 large garden pots as I did last year.
Of the plants that sprouted, all but 1 were the Reds. And as luck would have it,
I only planted Yukons in the large pots. None of these seem to have sprouted as
yet. Perhaps it was not cold enough for the “Yukons”! An unfortunate waste of
perfectly good potatoes! My only hope is that when all is said and done I get
at least as many potatoes back that I put in!
The crop of mustard tender greens seem to have done well… I’ll be starting to
harvest soon. I’ve never grown that before and not sure I ever ate it
before. So this may well be a new experience for me. I did manage to taste a
piece of leaf however as I was weeding in the garden and it seemed to me to
have a flavor reminiscent of Arugula (a spicy leaf salad). The seed packaging
calls it a “mustard-spinach like green”. I'll have to research the internet
for different ways to prepare it.
I’ll be getting ready to plant cool weather crops soon. I’m also thinking of
planting garlic again this year. I going to buy the garlic from the organic
farm and use them as seed. And one more thing I’m thinking of doing this year
which I have not done in the past. I’m thinking of planting a cover crop this
fall which will regenerate the nitrogen lost in the soil.
I've already begun planning for next year. I plan on incorporating 2 techniques
I've heretofore made little or no use of. I plan on making greater use of
“companion planting” and I plan to incorporate bee and butterfly friendly
flowers into the garden.
Companion planting is where you plant 2 or more mutually beneficial plants
next to each other. The “3 sisters” (corn, pole beans, squash) is a classic
example of this. This specific combination was thaugt to the early settlers
by Native Americans. Planting marigolds near tomatoes (for instance) is
another example of this.
Regarding the planting of bee and butterfly friendly flowers, while I am not
a flower person per se, my research has shown that incorporating these near
and in your veggie garden brings benefits to your garden.
First of all it benefits the bees and butterflies because they have a haven
of un-chemically treated source for pollen collection (assuming you are growing
organically of course). And most importantly for you as a gardner, the more
of them that visit and the more frequently they stop by, the greater the
chances of them pollinating your crops, hence greater output!
One thing I have done this year is to increase the path size between the plots
from 1' to 2'. This will make navigating through the plots a bit easier. I've
also lined the paths with woodchips so that I won't have to define (measure out)
the beds and paths again year after year as I had done in the past. And of
course the chips will help keep the weeds under control (always a desireable
(click to see the My Garden video - Use the Full Screen option).
[ Top ]