Cleanup and Evaluation

We have a couple of warm, dry days at the beginning of November, so I am pulling out stakes and cages, removing dead plants, and hoping to rototill. I think I need to evaluate and begin planning, as what I do in the next couple of weeks will help immensely in getting ready for spring

Overall, it was a good year, and we ate well from the garden and gave away a significant amount of vegetables. I did better with extending the season, but getting early production needs work. That said there is a lot of room for improvement.

CARE. I could have done better in watering. I did keep the pots watered, and I fertilized them every couple of weeks, and that made an enormous difference in the yields and the flowers. I didn’t keep up with weeding, and the fenced-in areas made it harder. I need to rethink my fencing. I somewhat gave up in August as other priorities took over. I need to do more watering and know when the garden needs it. I need to be out there weeding more, especially in August.

CRITTERS. The groundhog returned briefly, but Greg dispatched him/her/them very quickly. Rabbits were a problem early on taking out all of the Okra, Celery Root, all of the broccoli, and some of the peppers. The new ultrasonic repellers that I bought were worthless.

USAGE. I had some loss of Romas as I was late picking them. I had to throw out beets and eggplant because they sat around unused for too long and spoiled. Cherry tomatoes need to be picked more often.

SUCCESSES. The Roma tomatoes did well, and I dried and froze a bunch and donated another bunch to St. Anne’s. The Early Girl II tomatoes bore early, were prolific, and kept bearing until the first frost. All of the Heirlooms ripened near the same time which was weird as I had early, mid-season, and late ones. The tomatoes near the horseradish did better than in the past but still died early. Cherry tomatoes were very good. The two plants by the deck grew at least up to 8 feet and got top-heavy and fell over during windstorms. I’ll need to find a way to anchor them next year.

The large jalapeno plant that I bought from Goebbert’s, was ridiculously prolific until the first frost. The Shishito peppers did well.

Malabar spinach was an unexpected star, even though I didn’t start using it until late in the season. I need to grow it on a trellis next year.

The herbs were good, and the basil from seed worked very well, although I should probably start a new pot in both July and August so that it lasts all the season. Curly parsley does really well and doesn’t bolt, so not sure if I need the Italian. They taste the same to me. The curly just needs to be chopped better. The perpetual basil isn’t worth the effort, and the Spanish Tarragon is great for culinary use and as an ornamental. The fennel bolted.

The eggplants did fine; I just need to use them as they are ready.

Cucumbers were a mixed bag, likely didn’t water them enough. The lemon cukes are good, but I didn’t get many of them.

Zucchini did well from the plants and kept going until the frost. The ones I planted from seed came up but were stunted and never bore fruit. I have no clue.

The mashed potato squash did okay, but the fruits were small. The Zapallo de Tronco was marginal – probably not worth the effort for the space.

The peas did phenomenally well.

FAILURES. Peppers bombed this year. I’m sure why, as the ones in pots did well. I think I am planting them too close together in the new beds and they probably need to be heavily fertilized. They also need rabbit protection.

Tomatillos need to get in the ground in mid-May.

Okra needs heavy rabbit protection as does broccoli.

Radishes totally bombed again, I tried some in a pot, and they did no better.

Other than the Malabar Spinach, greens from seeds bombed.

I never got to planting pole beans.