Garden summary

Reader Contribution by Nebraska Dave
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The end of September and beginning of October was a busy time.  The garden kicked in and was producing an abundance even though it was neglected big time.

Harvey came with devastating destruction. It’s been a few years since I’ve gone on a crew to hurricane-damaged areas of the country. I couldn’t pass up a chance to go to the Houston area with a chainsaw crew. This group is from the Southern Baptist Convention. On any given day, there was 80 to 90 men and women from all across the country. Crews were sent out each morning with work orders to complete. The orders might include covering a roof with a tarp, or cleaning out moldy, wet drywall, or cutting up fallen trees. There is still so much to clean up and repair even after a month has passed. As with any hurricane, the mosquito population booms and clouds of them roam the land looking for anything to provide their dinner. Fortunately, I’m not one that they seem to like much, but some on the team had to not go out because of being bitten all over their bodies. Mosquito repellent didn’t seem to work too well.

It’s always good to get together with like-minded folks and help those in need.

Potato harvest was great this year. I netted probably about 50 pounds of potatoes from a bed that was 4-by-28 feet. Most went right into the basement storage area and some were peeled and canned for soup-making during the dark winter months. The canned ones were ones that were stuck by the fork while digging. That amounted to about 11 quarts. 

Overall the garden did well this year. The tomatoes were a bust because of the mislabeled package. Rutgers tomatoes do not grow the size of a cherry and come in clusters. So I had 12 cherry tomato plants and no Rutgers. I was so disappointed. It’s a good thing I have tomatoes from last year that will carry me over to next year. Never will I buy seeds from a big box store again. I learned that lesson the hard way.

As the garden winds down for this year, it’s a sad but invigorating time. I’m sad that this year is almost over, but invigorated that the winter resting and planning season is about to begin. This year will be a year of growing microgreens in my seed-starting station. I have found that it’s relatively easy to do. So even with the weather outside being frightful, I can still have a hand or two in the dirt.

In some ways it’s been a long season, but it seemed to fly by fast. Always at the end of the year, I reflect on the year and surprise myself with how much was accomplished. This year was the same. Next year will be a year with more gardening and less building. All the garden beds are in place and all the fences have been secured, so most concentration can be given to just gardening. Garden projects are by no means finished, but the beds are done for now.  The automatic irrigation system will continue to be perfected both at Terra Nova Gardens and at Urban Ranch.

I hope all your garden experiences for this year were productive as well. Have a great fall season.

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