Mary Mary Quite Contrary...

It's been awhile since I've done a garden post, and while I'm well aware that this may thrill no-one's soul but my own, I do like to document my progress each year, so that hopefully each year I can learn a bit more and get a little bit better at what I do.

I also have a wretched memory, and I tend to lose my garden notes that I write from year to year.  So, maybe if I record my notes and my tidbits of "Wisdom from Lew" online, when it comes time to plant again next year, and when my memory fails me as I'm sure it will, I will have a go-to spot to come back to...

I plant peas solely for my boys.  This is their favorite summertime snack.
This year was the very first year that I did everything all by my lonesome.  So, while some things haven't done amazingly, and while I've had to do a cucumber replant five or six times, my expectations were so low at what might actually be a success - that I'm actually really thrilled with the outcome.

This year, I had two main goals:
1.  To plant only what we really use and need, so as not to waste space.
2.  And to have things spaced apart enough that the boys could roam freely and not crush things.

I still planted a boatload of tomatoes, but I have half of them in heavy duty cages, and the other half staked and tied up with t-shirt ties.  As they continue to grow and sprawl, I continue to tie more t-shirts onto them.  Last year, my tomatoes were a complete jungle, and everytime the boys went to pick one they were either crushing the fruit or completely breaking off the branches, which made me crazy.  This year, it's much better.

Tidbits I have learned:

::  Ideally, (according to Lew), I learned that one should rotate where they plant their veggies every seven years.  Also, tomatoes and potatoes carry the same blight disease, so they shouldn't be planted in the same spots, either. 

::  Cukes and squash shouldn't be planted side by side as they can morphe into some pretty funky mutations of each other.  Learned that lesson last year.

::  Ideally, corn should be planted in rows of four.

::  Green peppers should be planted close enough so that their leaves can touch each other.  Cross pollination - methinks?

::  Pick thine potato bugs religiously, else they shall kill thine potato plants with great ruthlessness.  And hill them faithfully.  Next year, I need to leave more width between my potatoes and the next row.  We didn't have enough dirt to keep on a hilling.
::  Next year, I need to make my mesh wiring for my peas about three feet higher.  And stronger.  Strong enough to hold up delicate pea plants from ravenous hooligans ripping the peas off of the plants.  Also, once the peas go by. (next week?), plant a row of derby green beans.  Later crop for more winter canning.
:: If at first your cucumbers don't grow, keep on a replanting them until they do.  This will also give you perpetual cukes all throughout the summer.

Grow babies, grow!  And yes, they are WAY too close together...but....GROW babies grow!
::  And, if at first, and second, and third, and fourth, and fifth, and sixth attempts..... your zucchinis and squash don't grow....but your pumpkins do....  accept the fact that your children are praying for no squash and zucchini this year, and God has answered their prayers.
The pumkins are the gloriously growing veggies at the back.
The weinie plant in the middle is my squash saying, "I think I can!  I think I can!"
And the teensy weensy plant by the stake is my zucchini saying, "Just give it up!!!"

And final notes....
This year my ten rows are as follows:

1.  Potatoes.
2.  Snap peas, regular peas, green peppers, hot peppers.
3.  Beets, carrots, cilantro, basil, tons of lettuce, kale.
4.  Cukes....and tiny baby cukes.
5-8.  Four rows of corn for two-thirds of the rows.
5-8.  Twelve tomato plants for the last third of the rows.
9.  Green beans.
10.  Zucchini, squash, and pumpkins. 

Thus endeth this garden report for now.
Tell me, what tidbits have you learned that you can pass on to the rest of us?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Our yard is being ripped this year I've learned:
Pole beans grow nicely out of 5 gallon buckets
One tomato plant does nicely in a half barrel
And cukes can grow out of a half barrel up a trellis.

But much more watering and fertilizing is necessary and they've been a bit neglected as of late so we shall see how it all pans out :)