As the growing season is coming to a close, I thought I’d update everyone on my garden project!
Here are some notes about things that worked and things that weren’t so successful:
- Mesclun greens – I scattered seeds in three of the squares in my square-foot garden. They grew really well and provided fresh baby greens for about 6-8 weeks. They were delicious in my Garden Salad with Edible Flowers.
- Butter lettuce – Again, I scattered these and let them come up. I picked a few of the baby greens and decided to let some grow into larger lettuces. Once they started to grow larger, if they didn’t have enough space, they just grew upwards. Next year, I’ll plant them a little farther apart so they have room to spread out and get big.
- Kale – I was given some kale seedlings that have done really well. Next year I’ll plant way more!
- Tomatoes – I bought the biggest plants I could find at Sunnyside (I think they were about 20″ already) and they have exploded. We’ve been picking the smaller, grape-tomato size for at least 4 weeks. The larger beefsteaks have been coming ripe for about 2 weeks and I’m starting to get a large stock of them that I’ll probably make into salsa.
- Carrots – They all seem to be doing ok, although they are fat and stubby, not long and slender. If anyone has suggestions about what happened, let me know.
- Parsnips – The few that I’ve pulled so far are looking excellent! I think I’ll thin them out more than I did this year…they’re getting a little crowded with the large green tops they have. Much larger than carrot tops.
- Pickling cucumbers – I don’t think my cucumber plant was in a Sunny enough spot. It’s still quite small and hasn’t really flowered at all.
- Pattypan Squash – Again, might not have gotten enough Sun. I’m going to start these indoors next year. They are just on the cusp of actually growing the vegetable, so if I had a few more weeks, I might get some. But alas, I’m pretty sure the frost will come soon.
- Zucchini – So far, I’ve gotten one whole zucchini!!! This was the plant I had the most hopes for. There are two or three more that I’ve been keeping an eye on over the last week of heat, crossing my fingers they’d sprout overnight. So far, they are about half the size of the one in the picture below. Oh well.
- Potatoes – I want to plant potatoes everywhere! They are so easy to take care of and they produce SO many potatoes. I might convert my entire front lawn into a potato field and start selling potato chips.
- Beets – These have been the most consistent since last year. I planted golden beets as well as ruby beets and both have done quite well. I’ll give these more space next year to grow fewer larger beets rather than more small beets.
- Cabbages – at my dad’s garden, they’ve been eaten alive by bugs. At my other garden, they’ve done super well. Who knows what happened!?
- Strawberries – they grew quite well, spreading out and becoming a very good ground cover. I’ll definitely co-plant them next year with plants that grow upwards.
I became kind of paralyzed about fertilizing any of the plants after learning a bit about permaculture, specifically about feeding the soil (the microbes in the soil) instead of just feeding the plant. So next year, I plan to have a compost pile that I can use regularly to feed the soil.
I’m also going to:
- Expand the garden to have more planting space.
- Do upside-down buckets for my tomatoes.
- Plant buckets of strawberries and/or squash on my dad’s garage roof (it’s very low and easy to reach).
- Start more seeds indoors to give them a little more time before having to deal with the shortened growing season!
I’d love to hear how all your gardens did and any advice that you’d pass along!