Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Review of my First Year of Gardening

I want to remember the lessons I learned this year in gardening, and what better way than to write it here on the blog... just in case there is anyone out there less garden-savvy than myself (anyone? ANYONE???) OK, maybe I am just writing it for me ; )

What we will do again:
- plant tomatoes
- plant jalapenos
- plant onions
- plant potatoes
- plant marigolds
- plant sweet banana peppers

What we will change:
- we will MULCH more! (to keep weeds down. Because, let's face it, one tired mama of five cannot do all the weeding by herself!!!)
- set up a system for weeding, like doing one bed or one row a day... rather than trying to do the whole garden every few days
- plant heirloom tomatoes (if we are able to get the seeds in time...), but even if we cannot get heirloom, we will NOT be using "Big Boy" or "Pink Lady" tomatoes. I think a Beefsteak tomato is more of the texture/size/shape we want
- plant a LOT more tomato plants, because we had just enough to eat, but none to can (which was fine for this year!)
- use home-made cages rather than stakes for large tomatoes. (Stakes were fine for the cherry tomatoes)
- we will try to use more of a "square-foot gardening" model, rather than traditional rows
- we will use more companion planting
- keep a closer eye out for caterpillars and other pests
- add a birdbath and hopefully some martin houses (to help control the insect population)
- plant berry bushes and fruit trees (someday)
- plant corn, green beans, and peas that we did not get to this year
- get an earlier start by: starting tomato seeds indoors, getting lettuce, cauliflower, and broccoli in the ground early
- buy hoses, because our water bucket relays were exhausting! This was supposedly the children's job, but I ended up doing it
- come to think of it... I think a new rule is in order - if you are 4 or older, and if you plan to eat any homegrown food, you MUST help mommy take care of the garden!!! (And, playing in the sprinkler while it waters the garden does not count as "help.")
- make better use of compost
- prepare beds in the fall for the following spring
- no cayenne pepper (better to buy it and save room for something we really want!)
- plant two zucchini plants (this year we had none)
- plant pie pumpkins
- plant melons

Now, while I think I have some decent ideas here, I acknowledge two things:
1- This was my first real garden ever!, I am still learning
2- We don't know where we will be living this Fall or next Spring, so all this planning sounds nice, but is not set in stone

1 comment:

Mama Hen said...

We did not have a good garden this year. We got lots of sweet corn, but that was all. We had a couple of tomatoes. And we planted 32 plants. I have heard that here in AL it was bad for tomatoes this year. I know it was at our house. We have done staking and cages and I think cages are the way to go.

Jalapenos and banana plants make lots of peppers on each bush. We love to grow bell peppers in different colors. They usually make around 10 a bush. I don't know if that is normal or not, but that's the yield we get.