I’m a pretty serious gardener. Or at least, I am pretty serious about gardening. I’m not a great gardener, and I generally take a vacation in July that seriously hampers my growing potential. But I really want to grow as much food as I possibly can on my very small lot.
In my two previous years gardening, I have had good success only with greens. Tomatoes are always moderately successful. Last year was a good year for peppers-nice and HOT and relatively dry, but my cantaloupe never even fruited. Potatoes did well. Celery started out nicely, but wilted in the summer heat (and then got mowed down by the groundhog). My lettuce was Beautiful, but then I went on vacation in June, and it all bolted.
My goals this year include lots of greens: kale, collards, chard, and spinach (though that is my least successful green), lots of lettuce and pick it when it’s small to avoid last year’s mishap, and lots of onions. I want to grow a large variety of things, but focus on the things I eat the most, and the things that are the best fresh picked.
My faults in previous years include vacations that left my garden to fend for itself, lack of support for my tomato plants, and most glaringly a lack of protection from 4-legged mammals: including deer, groundhogs, and even cats, who stomp all over my newly planted seeds.
1. Limit vacations to one week at a time and pay someone to keep an eye on things.
2. Cage my tomatoes when I plant them so I don’t leave it until it’s too late.
3. Erect fences, cages, nets, put out japanese beetle traps on the cherry tree. I’m also going to take the suggestion of one of my reader’s and put thorns over newly planted beds to hopefully deter the cats. I’ll let you know if it works.
I also had a slug problem, so I’ll have to work on that too. Plant protection is my focus this year.
I plan to spend a half an hour every single day managing things in the garden. I figure I’ll spend 5 minutes weeding, and then the rest of the time watering, fertilizing, staking, fencing, etc. I mulch everything so weeds are one problem that I haven’t had. I haven’t decided when the best time to schedule my garden work is.
As soon as I wake up is when I spent time in the garden last year. It’s fun to step out and see what grew overnight, and check for animal damage, which is not so fun if you find some.
When I get back home, I’m going to start planting spring crops and building fences and digging up some new sections of the back yard. Since I am doing a local food experiment this coming growing season, it’s even more important that I stay on top of the gardening work.
I’ll keep you up to date on my progress with pictures once things get growing. What are you doing in your garden this year?
I had a couple of cookies last night after I posted, but they’re all gone now, so I won’t have anymore.
Lunch-Broccoli with hummus
Dinner-large salad, 2 bowls of split pea and fresh (frozen) pea soup, and 2 and a half biscuits with strawberry jelly (fruit juice sweetened)
Workout-none AGAIN, I’ve been going all day and I missed it, I may try to do something while Caleb is taking a bath.
Work Done-cut, sanded, oiled, and wood burned 3 large tree plaques and sanded around 25 other small things and finished them and wood burned them