Thursday, February 11, 2016

Garden thoughts Year 1

Last year we finally were able to plant a real garden. We had our own house and some decent ground to work with. While we didn't get the bumper crop I was hoping we still were able to get a good amount of food for meals during the summer. 
In review we had the following growing:
Long planter: Jalapenos, cherry tomatoes, banana peppers, rosemary, peas
Small round planter: various herbs, Kale, lettuce
Gas planter: sunflowers
Wood planter boxes: Sweet and russet potatoes
Raised bed: Red lettuce, Brussel sprouts
Small wood box: Cucumbers, Zucchini
Large planter: corn, zucchini, watermelon, strawberries, onions, muskmelon, peas, yellow squash
In yard: pumpkins
Planters and raised beds

Pumpkin out of control

Tomatoes, peppers, greens, and sunflowers

Here is what I think worked and what we will work on this year. First we are going to move the strawberries to the long planter. We are going to let them take over this area as having them hanging will look pretty, at least when they are fruiting. Second, I think I am going to plant the pumpkins in a more sunny area. They got too much shade and I only had 3 pumpkins. The corn was a complete bust. Not sure if we started it too late, too much shade, or what. Corn seems like a lot of work for little pay off. Zucchini needs to be only 1, maybe 2 plants. The peas also need to be planted earlier. I might be able to get two crops this way. I am going to try using tomato cages to trellis the peas. 
As for the potatoes, I have ordered a burlap bag and hope I can get more sweet potatoes than the terrible showing last year. We only grew 1 potato and it was riddled with holes. We had success with the sack in Houston and hope it will be the same here. 
One of the big problems is lack of sun. The main part of the yard gets sun all day long, but nothing can be planted too close to the fence. There are big trees on either side of the yard and the back fence provides shade as well. We have tried cutting the neighbor trees back as much as possible. I am hoping on starting a layout soon and getting some cool weather vegetables in the ground.
I am hopeful that this year we will be able to freeze more and save for the winter months to use in soups and stews.

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