September 13, 2016

It was a hot dry summer, which was a bit hard on the garden.


This year I grew peas, onions, corn, lima beans, yellow and green beans, carrots, rhubarb, currants/gooseberries, tomatoes, melons, pumpkins, potatoes, beets, leeks, various herbs and lots of flowers.


The good: My beans, currants, lima beans and rhubarb did great as usual. I planted beets on a whim and they were surprisingly good, if possibly not as big as Janice would have liked. I was also happy with my carrot harvest, especially since I didn't thin them out as much as I should have. Our corn was more plentiful than last time we tried it, and still fun, so I'm counting it as good, but the earwigs destroyed most of the tassels which meant much of it failed to fertilize. Still not getting as many potatoes as I think I should, but it was a decent harvest. The peas were the surprise hit of the season. I didn't even have to battle the squirrels for them, unless you count my children.


I did have a major fight with the squirrels and the earwigs over the sunflowers - but we did get a few heads harvested in the end and the flowers looked amazing for much of the summer.


The bad: I felt like it should have been a good year for the tomatoes but they struggled all summer and only produced a handful of fruit. I think this was related to: one last cold snap poorly timed, super hot summer stressing the plants, poor decision on my part to put the sunflowers in the same bed. The sunflowers took off well before the tomatoes did anything, which shaded them and prevented them from doing much of anything. I did move the sunflowers but too little, too late. Our poor little melons. The squirrels didn't eat them, but the melons never got big enough to eat. Not enough sun? Wrong soil? Not sure. I keep saying I'm going to give up on them but this last attempt was an improvement...


The gooseberries are struggling a bit from being in competition with the hedge. One of these days I need to do some serious culling, but it was not this summer's project.


The ugly: My pumpkin seeds never came up. I tried planting them three times, to no avail. The leeks also struggled to get beyond the stage of looking like grass, but admittedly they didn't get the attention they needed. They are supposed to come back next year, but I'm not holding my breath.


All in all it was a bit of a disappointing year from a crop point of view. It's clearly a good thing we don't rely on the garden for food. However, from the entertainment and educational point of view I think it was a great success. Matthew in particular is quite interested in gardening - I'm thinking the older two might be getting close to being able to care for their own vegetable plot... Maybe next year...

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