Gardening Year 1 – Lessons Learned

Fall and Spring

Has it been more than two months since I last blogged on this website?

Apparently so.

I’ve not been idle in the garden, I’ve finished harvesting the last of the veggies and busied myself winterizing the garden. One thing, I’ve learned is that you are always maintaining the garden in the hear and now, yet plotting out the garden for the advancing seasons.

I lost count on how many tulip bulbs I’ve planted in the raised bed, in ground and in containers lining the patio wall in October and November. Red, White, Yellow, Pink, Purple, “Ice Cream”, and “Izumi” tulips will, I hope, grace my garden come spring. I believe the warm October caused the Muscari armeniacum to sprout way before their time:

Spring Bulbs

I’m just going to let the Muscari winter over and see what happens this Spring.  In late summer, I ordered two types of garlic – Duganski and Susanville and have planted them in ‘loo rolls‘ and set them in my little greenhouse to over-winter.

So, what has the garden taught me this year? Lots, actually.

Starting with what worked in the garden:

Cucumbers were a great success despite being attacked by powdery mildew. Nothing tastes quite like a fresh picked cucumber with a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar. Next spring, I’m starting all vegetables from seed. The cucumbers were purchased as seedlings from Loew’s and did well in a square container with a trellis on the patio.

Three Big Boy tomato plants lived up to their name producing numerous large healthy fruit. These are a sweet slicing tomato that I found doesn’t work too well as a sauce. However, the fresh mozzarella, tomato and pesto sandwiches were heavenly.

Herbs galore – outside of the cilantro, all the herbs did smashingly well. There were planted into the ground, not on the raised beds and they thrived in the acidic soil. I’ve kept the rosemary in the ground with hopes it will become a permanent fixture in the garden. I’ve heaps of dried oregano, Thyme and Rosemary to use this winter. The final herb haul – this is just the Basil:

End of Season Herb Harvest - Basil

Mmmm…pesto heaven!

Romaine lettuce was a hit in the household. I grew this twice this season, from purchased seedlings and directly from seed. Both produced the best salad I’ve tasted in years.

Carrots – Nantes seed were sown directly into the raised bed and grew quite well. I did not get the a huge yield, but am willing to work with this seed next year.

Peppers did far better than I expected, although I planted red, green and yellow pepper plants, the only color harvested was green. However, the peppers were delicious in salads or stuffed with meat and rice. The pimento peppers were grown in a container and produced numerous bright red peppers that had a sweet taste and will be grown again next year.

The lone Eggplant did quite well producing several large fruits over the growing season.

Okay, now on to what didn’t quite work out this year. For the most part, inexperience was the main contributing factor to the failure with these crops. However, failure can be your best teacher.

Potatoes – The potatoes grew well, however, I ignored some good advice on how to care for them and the crop did fail. Armed with better knowledge, next year will be a bumper crop.

Peas – Started them way too late in the season, the poor guys didn’t have a chance. Next year, I’ll start earlier in the season.

Pumpkin – Same as above.

Garlic – Should have started them earlier in the season, in fact, I’ve already have some cooking in the greenhouse for next season.

Onions – Yet again inexperience caused quite the catastrophic failure. Next year, I’m starting from seed.

Beets – They started well from seed but should have been started earlier in the season.

Through both success and failure, I’ve learned quite a lot in this first year. This makes my win in the city garden contest all the more sweeter to me.

Advertisements

One response to this post.

  1. Can’t wait to see the gardening next year.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: