Saturday, October 11, 2008

next year's resolutions

In fall, a gardener's thoughts turn toward the following year's garden. Since Husband enlarged the area, I have plenty of room to play in the dirt. Plenty of room to grow a few goodies to supplement our nutritional needs and save us a few pennies on the grocery bill. But I could do a better job.

First, the layout. Think sun, Daisy. Sun. Plant the beans and the tomatoes along the north end. They grew so tall this year that anything behind them suffered.
Separate the spinach from the lettuce. Both thrived for a while, and then the spinach took over. Next year I'll leave a barrier -- my walkway (old boards from old fence) should do the trick.
New tomato supports. Now that I've improved the soil with several years of compost, the tomato plants are growing to five-six feet tall. If they hadn't fallen over this year, the tomato might have resembled an NFL football player in height! ('Tis the season. You didn't think I'd get through an entire autumn post without mentioning football, did you?) This poor plant looks like it's been tackled, but it held on and didn't fumble.

Peppers did better than ever this year. I put some on pizza, in soups and stews, on salads, and more. They're really, really good when they're fresh.
Zucchini? Who knows. It seems to be feast or famine, and this year it was famine.
Peas, if planted south of the beans, might do fine. The greedy bean plants hogged all the sun this season.
Cauliflower didn't grow well. Broccoli usually does. I could plant that again.
Parsley was slow to start, but then grew steadily, which made the pet rabbits happy.

Herbs need a bigger pot. They look cute in the coffee mugs, but they'd thrive with more root space and room to grow.
Next spring, I'll have to look back at this post to remind myself how to overcome this year's weaknesses. Then the whole cycle will begin again, with a deep sigh of satisfaction.

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Blogger Lisa Sharp said...

I want a garden so much. Haven't done one yet because I live with my in-laws but I may break down and do a container garden this next spring to hold me over until I can do something big. :)

10/11/2008 9:19 AM  
Blogger DES said...

*sighs* I'm still going through Garden withdrawls *not a clinical dx btw* but I really missed not having our garden this year. We need to ammend the soil first AND figure a way to keep Lil Bunny Foo-Foo's out. We had a wedding this year, put a new roof on and new deck railings. (no time to play in the dirt).

So...thanks for posting the inspiration to get back on the tractor next year. *sniff...I hate winter*


10/11/2008 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anthony said...

My zucchini didn't fair too well either this year.

10/11/2008 1:18 PM  
Anonymous MaryP said...

I vacillate wildly between filling my small, very sunny front yard with something invasive but decorative, and just forgetting about it, and trying vegetables this time. Not sure what my neighbours might think of that (why is the convention that veggies be in the back? there is NO sun back there)...

10/11/2008 3:36 PM  
Blogger woolanthropy said...

Sounds like you have a great garden. I envy your expanded plot. I have a very small yard and planted tomatoes in the front yard this year among the drought tolerant plants. They did all right. I had some blossom end rot. It is really dusty from traffic in our front yard so I am going to try a small container garden on the side of the house next year.

10/11/2008 11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Daisy,

Thanks for stopping by the fuzzy red robe. 1st...I love your name. 2nd...our similarities are uncanny. Here's me in a nutshell: Mom. 48. Teenaged son with an emotional disability (bipolar). 17 year old daughter. Writer. Live in a cold midwest state (MI) Enjoy gardening but not proficient as obviously you are...but I do compost.

When I get home from church today, I'm coming back here to read more.

Warmest regards.

10/12/2008 7:48 AM  
Anonymous weltschmerz said...

I feel your pain re: enriched soil under the tomatoes. Mine reached for the sky and I did not have enough under them this year to keep them from crashing. I am thinking of getting a set of those folding rose trellises for them next year.

Ah, next year. The leaves are already turning here in Chicago. Time to till this all under soon!

10/12/2008 10:35 AM  
Blogger Margaret Cloud said...

Sounds like you had a good garden anyway, I love to plant gardens, but alas I live in town and have to be content with the farmers market, they seem too be pricey.

10/12/2008 6:29 PM  
Blogger paper napkin said...

I wish I knew how to garden. Any books or tips for a beginner?

10/13/2008 7:14 AM  

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