Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lessons Learned

Some friends just stopped by, and dropped off their dog. They'll be doing college visiting this weekend, and needed a dogsitter. So Shiloh is at doggy camp for a couple of days.

While they were here, they asked for a tour of the garden. Hahahaha! You mean the garden that has become a weed field? Remember how I started this spring? Well, it's not that tidy anymore. As summer begins it's third and final month, things are pretty messy out there. And I am beginning to tally up lessons learned this summer.

Firstly, don't bite off more than you can chew. Our garden started at roughly 40'x60'. When I decided to convert to raised beds, I should have tallied to cost in cedar before I committed my brain to it. It's been easy enough to just say, "Hey, the money's not there for all of the beds. We'll make do this year, and finish up next." But my perfectionistic little brain looks out there and says, "Major fail." It's not, and I really do know it, but I have to keep reminding myself.

Secondly, plant things you know you're going to eat and enjoy. While we like zucchini bread, and zucchini boats, we get tired of them quickly. Why plant three plants? I won't do that next year. One will be enough. Potatoes. We'll need more of those. Tomatoes. More Romas, because I like to can sauce, but fewer slicing tomatoes, because they mostly took up space that Romas could have used. Grape tomatoes will always be there, though!

Weed. Weed religiously. Weed when it's cool, in May and June, when it's too pretty to do work. Because in July and August, when it's too blazing hot to do work, those little weeds you neglected in May and June will be as high as your eye. And you won't like it.

Plant in compost. We have grape tomatoes the size of some Romas you'll see in stores, which are half the size of our Romas. And the flavor....Yes, poop smells badly. But it imparts lovely flavors...Oh, get over it!

I hate picking beans. I hate it. The mosquitoes live under the leaves and leap out to feast when you reach under to pick. I love eating beans. I'll have to find a way to reconcile the two.

That's the beginning of my list of Garden Lessons Learned This Year. I'll have more, I'm sure, before First Frost. But that's six weeks away now. I'd better go see what I can get in the ground before then!!


Elephantschild said...

I should write up a summer's end round-up too. Some things came along nicely, other things were a waste of time and space.

Bikermom said...

Pole beans

Ditto on what Laura said.

Melody said...

I did try pole beans this year; just Roma Italian beans. Of the 20-some seeds I planted, 1 came up. That was my mom's favorite variety, and we didn't get any. :( But that's a good point; I saw some neat tent-type bean supports, and maybe I'll build some of those next year and try pole beans again!!