Saturday, September 25, 2010

What my garden has taught me this year.

2009 was my first attempt at gardening on my own, and it was an educational experience. The biggest lesson I learned last year was that squirrels are the devil, and that I'd need to take some serious steps if I didn't want to share my produce with those little furry bastards. As this year's gardening season draws to a close, I feel like I have learned a lot more.

1. Don't plant cucumbers. Or, if I do, I'll plant very few. There's just no way to get through as many cukes as we had, and we wasted a lot of food. I hope cucumbers compost well because there are a lot in our compost pile right now.

2. Don't plant what we don't eat. I planted peas this year, and I really don't know why. I don't like peas. I don't have the patience to shell them and use them in dishes. They grew well but they were pretty much a waste of space.

3. Do  plant what we do eat. This year I did a lot of cooking with zucchini and squash, but they all came from the farmer's market. I never really thought to plant them because this year was my first time cooking with them.  Next year I'll dedicate a nice portion of our garden to zucchini and squash since they are so versatile.

4. One yellow cherry tomato plant is enough. Seriously, my two plants have taken over the whole garden. I've never seen anything grow quite like that.  Yellow cherry tomatoes everywhere.

5. Carrots really need their space. I read it, I knew it, yet I let my carrots grow really close together which means I ended up with very few reasonably sized carrots.

6.  Tomatoes.  Oh, tomatoes.  They vex me.  I was hoping to have enough to can tomatoes this year, but I don't, and I don't know why.  

If I learn a handful of things every year that I garden, I should be a pretty fabulous gardener by the time I'm sixty-give.

And since I hate posts without photos, let's go with this cute one from this morning:  Jack showing off his beautiful wool hat from The Knitting Sheep.  We ventured out into the cool weather this morning in hopes of finding tomatoes for canning (no luck - only one vendor had any in quantity, and they looked terrible), but Jack looked great in his warm cap, don't you think?



Amie said...

Something I learned this year,
One Tub (i.e. 2 little plants) will give you over 7 large zucchini.
Eggplants grow like weeds and lettuce doesn't like me.

The mad woman behind the blog said...

I am intensely jealous of your harvest! Our summer was non existent so my tomatoes never produced. Still waiting on my fig tree and I killed all my basil.
One thing I've learned is to make friends with other gardeners/farmers. You grow what you can grow well and trade. Those peas and cukes could go to homes that might have onions, or the tomatoes you didn't have room for.

Now show us some pics of your bounty, would ya?

Jenn said...

That's a fantastic tip - I do need to befriend more local gardeners so we can do some trading. I'm sure I had enough cucumbers this year to keep the neighborhood supplied - it would have been great to be able to trade some for things I could use.

Eschelle said...

horay for gardening!! I have a black thumb; but i still try! lol.

p.s. very cute hat!