Tuesday, November 1, 2011

2011 Veggie Garden - Lessons Learned

First, let's look back at the pictures, shall we?  Even though it will make me miss summer.
Lil naked baby garden   


Sprouts, and the WORST pea trellis ever

Holy abundance, Batman!

And what it looks like as of this morning ....
  Super sad face.  Remember when I blithely said I wasn't planning where everything would go?  Dumb!  At least estimating the space needed around plants is verrrry important for good air circulation around the plant, which helps fend off fungal diseases and pests.  Did you know most pests and diseases need wet foliage to be able to penetrate the pant's structure?  So if some dummy (me) plants all her tomato plants with maybe 5 inches of space around them each, she (me again) will end up with tomatoes that will get wasted.  

  Also, in order to maintain a biologically diverse (and therefore more stable) soil, you need to rotate what goes where from year to year.  Great resource for this here.  If you are planning an organic garden (please, please do) this is so important, since it will negate chemical fertilizers and pest control.  

 A few more discoveries from this year :
* Pea trellises need to be bigger and stronger than you think
* IMO, the absolute BEST soil mixture for growing a culinary and herb garden is half composted mushroom soil, half organic garden soil.
* Compost, compost, compost.  Apply to the roots of your plants once a month.
* If you use the above soil preparation, and you're growing tomatoes - don't even mess with tomato cages.  You need to build big ass supports around those suckers.  Mine were over 5 feet tall by the end of the season and loaded with fruit.
* If you plant only one edible - plant lettuce!  It is so easy to grow, so easy to maintain, and it tastes so much better than what you get at the store.
* Stock up BEFORE growing season on canning and freezing supplies.  Research recipes for your produce in the off season so you're ready.
* Get a hay bale for harvest decorations, then stash it away until spring.  After you have planted your seeds and everything sprouts, spread hay around the seedlings.  It holds in moisture so you don't have to water so much and suppresses weeds.
* You need a rain barrel.  If you already have one, you need another one. :-)

And also ... growing season doesn't have to stop in the fall.

This is broccoli and kale that are loving the cooler weather.  I also have two cabbage plants that came up and are thriving (none of the ones planted at the beginning of the season survived the cabbage worms)  Now to teach myself to make floating row covers ...
One last thing, Mrs. BC has an awesome new blog, Witch In The Suburbs,and guess who she interviewed for her Witchy Mum Interview?? ;-)If you don't follow Mrs. BC, she's hilarious and smart and her emails bring me joy because she says things like whinge and fortnight and other Australian awesomeness.  So go stalk her!



  1. I disagree on the lettuce, at least for our climate. It kept getting too hot, though we did get some great lettuce and kale for a little while. We had pepper plants that just wouldn't quit!

    Off to check out Mrs. BC.

  2. Whinge & fortnight are australian? Wow, I've been holding back on the Crikey Mates! Your garden looks ah-mazing, & how impressive where your tomatoes?! I hope you have a freezer full of organic tomato sauce :)
    Thanks for the plug!See ya round like a rissole! hahaha

  3. Colleen, you are correct ma'am - it all depends on your climate! I was just honestly shocked with how well it did for us, and it got 6+ hours of direct sun every day.

  4. Oh, lovely Lydia, what earthy jewels you have learned and so sweetly shared! I am so impressed with your organic knowledge and execution. Can't wait to see what you do next spring.

    Whinge & fortnight??? How utterly charming! I am off to meet your dear friend. Huge hugs to you and those little princesses!


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