Gardening Lessons Learned

| 9/5/2012 1:46:55 PM

As the tomato vines begin to wilt and the squash plants turn yellow I find myself reviewing the garden’s performance this past summer and planning my garden for the coming fall/winter as well as next summer.

Let me just ballyhoo Grit’s Garden Planner program for a moment.  I’ve been using it for the past couple of years and I’ve found it to be such a tremendous help, especially for a newbie.  I garden in raised beds, (supposedly) using the square foot gardening method.  My boxes don’t move around much, so being able to copy the drawing of the garden from one season to the next saves me a great deal of trouble because I don’t have to re-draw all those boxes each year.  Also, while doing this, the program remembers where each crop family was and automatically shows a crop rotation warning of where any certain plant should NOT be planted this time.  When you click on any plant on the selector bar to drag it into your garden plan, fuzzy-pink spots flash where you should not put that plant.

Also, the information pop-up window for each plant helps me decide on placement due to sun/shade and what plants to companion with it.  The planting reminder e-mails are also very helpful.  I only wish they’d remind me when it’s time to harvest – but I’ll get to that in a moment.

Major Failures

My corn did very poorly.  Oh, the stalks grew quite nicely and put out great tassels, and most stalks produced one ear, but most of these ears stayed very small and the kernels never developed.

Garden Lessons Corn Box 

The beets started off with a bang and I was able to judiciously snip out some very tasty beet greens for our salads.  But most of the beet roots never got to a useable size.  I did pull a few that got to an inch or so in diameter (and they were delicious) but most just turned gray and wrinkly, never having gotten larger than a marble or grape.

Erin Johnson
12/26/2012 4:57:14 PM

I used brand new soaker hoses this year & I had to chuck them all at the end of the growing season. We get really hot & dry summers here and the hoses all cracked. Also, we have rabbits & deer. The "houses" shape I think would work better for that problem. Thanks for posting this! I got a lot of great ideas!