Wednesday, February 6, 2013

2012 Garden Review, and 2013 Garden Plan

I am a blog slacker.  But I can't quite delete it either.  So we are stuck her in limbo where I post a few times a year.  I would make a promise to post more this year, and I would like to, but life happens. 

I know it's only the beginning of February, but I am already dreaming of spring.  I held on to my seed catalogs and waited to browse until January. And I browsed.  And Made Lists.  And ordered.

Our garden plans were so big last year I really did not know if we would accomplish everything we wanted to, but we did.  And we learned a lot.  Somethings worked well, some worked a little too well, and some not so well. 

For our 5 raised beds, we used the Square Foot Gardening method.  I love how our beds look all sectioned off, and they were easy to plant this way. 

We did however find a few things that this method did not work so well for:

Zucchini, even though we use a teepee trellis, they needed more room. 

"Picking" tomatoes (smaller tomatoes for snacking and eating), I have these "small" tomato plants 4 squares, which I thought would be more than enough room, two plants could easly fill an entire bed.  These seriously were the biggest, highest producting, tomato plants I have ever seen.  For real.  I don't know if is the garden soil mix we got that was half compost, or all of the compost and egg shell powder that I added, but we had a phenominal crop.  No bugs, no disease, just lots of healthy tomatoes.  And I lost my basil to them.  As in the tomatoes took over the basil squares and  the basil did not get enoough light, and was lost under the tomato branches.  And I am allergic to tomato plants.  I break out in a horrible raised red rash that will not go away.  I thought gloves would help, and they do, until I itch another part of my body with them on, or try to take them off.  Anyways though, we had LOTS of little tomatoes.  We planted Black Cherry, Yellow Pear, and Red and Yellow Currant Tomatoes.  I want to try a new variety this year.  Mike does not, as he loved the ones we had.  So we are compramising, we are planting the Black Cherry tomatoes again, and then a few new varieties.  And we are moving all tomato plants out of the raised beds, and in to a separate "tomato garden".

I loved that once the beets were done, I could harvest them, and still have time to plant another full crop of green beans.

We will be making permenant grids for our gardens this year, the twine broke part way through the season on almost all of our beds. 

Pumpkins.  We had 14.  That is a lot.  So this year we are going to try a few different heirloom varities, and a few different squashes and guords.  My high hopes for the luffa guord went down the drain when the plants struggled to survive forgotten in the back of the garden.  This year, I will try again.  Along with bird house guords.  And more melons, as ours did not do so well last year.  And we had squash bugs.  Not sure what they are called, but we had tons.  They seemed to kill the pumpkin plants, but the pumpkins all made it out alive. 

We had "picking" tomatoes from May through October.  Lots. 

This year we are hoping to apply the lessons we learned, and try again, and hope for even better results.  Here are a few pictures from last year, as everything is covered in snow right now. 

The seeds are in now, and it is almost time to begin.  

No comments: