Wednesday, October 2, 2013

20 questions - gardening edition!

Isis of Little Mountain Haven posted this list yesterday. I'm never as good at garden journaling as I wish, so I'll answer them right here, right now. If you happen to feel like doing the same, link to your blog in the comments!

1. What were your 5 favorite tasting vegetables/fruits for the 2013 growing season?
Strawberries, Rhubarb, kale (yes, really!), snap peas, raspberries

2. What vegetable/fruit do you wish you grew more of?

3. What vegetable/fruit did not grow well this year? Were the reasons in your control or not?
Green beans (pole) were decimated by rabbits. Never had this problem before, maybe if I switch back to bush beans?

4. What vegetable/fruit did you have surplus amount of?
None, really.

5. What was the weather like for this growing season? What made it favorable or challenging?
It was a really good growing year overall.

6. What kind of garden beds did you have this year? Did they work? Are you adding or changing any of your garden beds for the next growing season?
New raised beds with brandnew compost in them... Will work on adding more compost as I go. More compost would probably help the old strawberry beds and potato field.
I want to add planters to a (reinforced) fence. I saw them made from thick wool felt and thought I could maybe make them out of old army blankets?
I'd love to build a more solid fence and then adorn it with planters, art, beautiful flowers ...
7. Did you try any new garden techniques? Did they work? Would you do it differently?
Lasagna layers of half-finished compost topped with corrugated cardboard in the bottom of the new raised beds. I would say they worked well though one kind of weeds poked through. Would have loved to have had more compost to make them thicker!
This year we learned rose petals are edible and delicious!
8. Name something new that you grew for the first time. Would you grow it again?
Malabar spinach! Yes, I would grow it again, it is slow to start but once it gets warm, it's pretty, it's tasty and it makes cute flowers. Now in fall it is still in great shape. 

9. What vegetable are you thinking of discontinuing for next season?
Orach - was disappointed with both kids I planted. 

10. What vegetable or fruit did you purchase lots of this year that you could try growing next season?

11. Did you practice succession planting? Did it work or how would you do it differently?
Not really - things always seem to take off based on weather, not on planting date, for me. I might stagger my green beans a bit next year.

12. How was your soil this year? What do you need to add to it for the next growing season?
Can always use more compost! I'm planting winter rye right now, which will also help.

13. Did you practice crop rotation? Do you know where you need to plant things next year?
I might take a break from potatoes next year - because I have no other place to put them than where they've been for the last 2 years.

14. Name some challenging gardening obstacles that you wish you could conquer?
Needing to find shade-loving vegetables that taste great :-) And try to get my blackberry to come back from the rust.

15. What were your worst garden pests this year? Did you practice any methods for deterring pests? (via smells, companion planting, crop rotation etc). How would you try and prevent pest problems for next year?
We had a lot of squash bugs on the cucumbers. I am not sure what to do about them! The tomato blight is always a problem, but I am seed saving two more resistant varieties to try next year. The rabbits, sigh. I wish I had a way to put them in the pot.

16. What was your worst gardening mistake of the year?
I need to build bigger and stronger trellises! Some came crashing down under the load. But I didn't do anything too horrible, I think. Oh, and I started my artichokes way too late. Not sure I'll try again - they may just not be suited to our climate.

17. How was your watering system? Is it effective or is there anything you would change about it?
I really didn't pay much attention to watering. It seemed to have worked out OK. I am happy to finally have a rain barrel!

18. How was your germination rate? Do you need to buy any new seeds for next year?
Very good - but I always end up with more seeds than I need. New seeds I want to try include a melon, now that I have a sunny enough spot.
This sort of thing always gets me into trouble
19. What are your gardening goals for the 2014 growing season?
Learn that less is more! Plant fewer plants of each variety and get them to produce more. Move the asparagus or start a new patch with new crowns. Take good care of the perennials - learn more about pruning, and protect the new fruit trees from damage.
Maybe we'll get a real current harvest in 2014?
20. Vegetable and fruit harvest summary:
(a list of how much you harvested- or didn't harvest- from what you grew)

I didn't weigh or count, but this year, we successfully grew:

Butternut squash
Ornamental popcorn
a few varieties of tomatoes
Green and purple pole beans
Swiss chards (lots!)
Russian Kale
Herbs (Parsley, Basil, Chives, Lemon Balm, Mint, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Oregano, Dill)
Potatoes (Yukon Gold, some red skinned variety and some purple fleshed variety)
Climbing Malabar spinach
Summer squash
Cucumbers (they were so-so, we harvested a few but not as many as I'd have liked)
Snap peas

We didn't grow successfully:

Orach (Purple Passion and Red Flash)
The asparagus isn't happy in its current location. We harvest very little.
Lettuce - we got a bit but not a whole lot and the late planting didn't work out at all. Not sure how much I care.


One last freebie since that wasn't one of the questions: I have really started thinking about art in the context of nature and gardening. I would love to incorporate art into my garden next year. Details yet to be dreamed up, but that's what winter is for!

Manic Mothe<center>
<a href=

1 comment:

  1. I love it!! Thanks so much for mentioning my 20 questions in a post :)