Looks like it's time for the well intended gardener to have a chat about the 2010 gardening season here at the ol' homestead.
Rather than talk about everything in one, huge post and since my time right now in blog land is rather limited, I thought I'd share my experiences in various posts.
First off, I just want to mention that I've had probably one of the worst gardens I've ever had in years. I've determined two factors have come into play as to why.
One is the soil in the new raised bed gardens. Although we had a topsoil/compost mix, it turned out to be poor quality. I do feel, however, that once we amend it this fall, it will be a lot healthier for next spring. I know what it needs and once we give it some natural love and time to rest it will be in balance and ready to help the plants thrive next year.
The existing garden, which we've been amending for the past four years with straw, leaves, and our own compost is in fine shape and has given the plantings the nutrients needed to thrive.
Secondly, we've had one of the hottest, driest summers on record. And, it started early. Like May 1st. Watering was definitely a chore this year, but, it was a necessity to keep the plants growing. But, even with constant monitoring, most of the plants just couldn't take the heat. I know this is out of my hands and up to good ol' Mother Nature, but, I mention it because it was a major factor in the production of the garden.
One major lesson I've taken from gardening this year is choose wisely what you grow. Two things I will no longer grow will be leeks and cantalopes. I can use the space to grow something that can be "put up" or frozen rather than eating fresh. Since there is only two of us in the household, we just couldn't keep up with eating these fresh. Even with sharing the bounty with others - human and bugs, we wound up giving some of the cantalopes to the hens. Don't get me wrong, they thoroughly enjoyed them, but, that's not why I grew them!
So, the bottom line of this post is about growing choices.
No matter how "itchy" I get in February to start seedlings, I now know I need to curb my enthusiasm and be practical. (I hope I'm not coming back to eat crow on that statement)
What about you? Are there any fruits or veg you won't grow again?