From the Garden Plot: The End and the Beginning
|Features - The Home Farmer|
|Written by Alicia Ghio|
There’s something I have been avoiding to do. With the dropping temps however, I just couldn’t put it off any longer.
This weekend I pulled the summer vegetable plants and cleaned things up around the garden. The veggie garden has been officially put to rest for the winter.
With the outside tasks complete, it’s also time to do a garden assessment. What worked well, what didn’t and what I can do better or differently next year?
I had great success with kale, tomatillos and tomatoes. We ate as much as we could and then I prepped things for the freezer to enjoy on a cold winter’s day. Tomato sauce, tomatillo sauce for enchiladas, whole frozen pear tomatoes to throw into soups or make into sauce and blanched kale for hearty soups and stews. All three veggies are a must do next year. I may swap two of the tomato varieties.
Both varieties of hot peppers did well, not great, but well enough for me to do them again. Same goes for the Swiss chard. Onions did well but I wish I had planted more of them. They might be relatively small sized, but they are delicious. Next year I will expand the onion area.
The eggplant production was so-so, even with seedlings from the local nursery. Eggplants remain a strong maybe for next year. The cucumbers were so-so as well. I’m kind of neutral about cucumbers so they are on the maybe list for next year. I think a different variety might do the trick.
On a whim I had planted some leeks in a large container on the patio. They, too, were so-so. However, I did learn what I did wrong. I needed to plant them deeper in the soil. If I attempt them again I’ll ditch the container and find a spot for them in the garden.
As you know, I had terrible luck with zucchini and summer squash. The plants either died mysteriously overnight or they had blossoms that would just fall off. I will attempt zucchini again because I am determined to make some fried goodness with blossoms from my own plants. The bush beans were a no go too. I’m not sure why. I think the tomato and tomatillo plants may have chocked them out. I may try a different variety next year and definitely better position them in the garden.
Carrots and radishes were another flop. I think I planted the carrots too close together. Since the radishes bolted on me, I toss that failure up to “it was out of my control.” I don’t know if I’ll attempt to grow either of them next year.
Overall I would say my black thumb is now a light green.
I’m already looking toward next year. I have some ambitious ideas for a bigger and better garden. Yes, I might be having delusions of grandeur but we’ll just see about that. I hope you’ll stay tuned.
How did your garden do? Any advice or words of wisdom for me?