Fall garden wrap up – resolutions!

SNOW!

We had snow on the ground when I woke up yesterday!

Lovely, fluffy snow.

And, because my hoop house hasn’t worked out this year (the pic below shows stage 1 of collapse. During recent straight-line winds, the whole structure twisted and nearly blew away), that means it effectively the end of my gardening season.

the hoop house pvc was not sturdy enough. Bummer. Back to the drawing board.

 

Its usually around Aug. 1 that I start making resolutions of what I’d like to do next year – try something different, a new variety of such-and-such, plan that I don’t need as many of one thing, or need lots more of another.

The list has changed and solidified since the beginning of August, and I also ended up adding some plants later in the season than I am usually able to. In fact, I changed about half of my front yard into flower beds (but don’t get toooo excited. Remember, I live on an 18th of an acre? Have I mentioned that? So, I basically have about 6 ft. of lawn in front that is grass/weeds in the grass now. … It was small to begin with.)

I added some astilbe, a Bleeding Heart plant, added two huchera varities, and some tulips and daffodils, as well as a neat grass that I’m blanking on the name of right now….um….yeah. Not going to get up from the computer chair to find my little tag. I think it turned out great. You can look forward to a picture of that in the spring! 😉

How about a list of things I didn’t grow, but wished I would have?

Broccoli! The kids love it. Its their favorite, and mine.

Chard! We did get some in the CSA, but kale far overwhelmed the chard, and chard is my preference.

Spinach! Again, last CSA year, we were so inundated, and this year – not so much.

Green/bunching onions. I planted some, but the horseradish “crop” smothered them.

Things I wished I would have grown MORE of?

Tomatoes. Always tomatoes. When I taste the first salsa, the first tomato sauce – I wish I would have a whole freezer just for tomatoes. Not to mention fresh slicing in sandwiches during the height of the season.

Garlic. That one will have to wait another season. I don’t think I’ll get any in the ground at this point. But…maybe.

Corn. Actually, I don’t grow corn, but I should have bought another couple of dozen ears and frozen them. I don’t use a whole lot of corn, but its kind of a special treat.

Green peppers. Love em. They freeze so well. And so easily.

Things I wished I would have had less of?

Cucumbers. I don’t mind them, and I did really like the lacto-fermented pickling cukes, but honestly, I really do get tired of cucumbers, and yet I feel like a bad steward when I don’t use them….so. Its a perennial dilemma.

Jalapenos. Yes, I pickled them, I roasted them. But, holy smokes – the roasted ones are SOOO hot! I don’t think I’ll be able to use them for my family. The pickled ones can be tolerated in small doses by my husband, but I don’t care to eat them.

Things that seemed just right?

Green beans! I did get a whole bunch from a friend, and preserved quite a few batches.

Basil. The CSA provided a great abundance, and I have a lot of pesto for use this winter! Yum!

 

I am hoping, next year, to try straw bale gardening. This sounds fun, and will also allow me to grow a few more things.

Here’s a link to check it out, but, quite simply, you procure a straw bale or two, turn it with the cut side facing up, and water (and perhaps add some organic fertilizers) over a period of days, until it starts heating up – its starting to become compost! At that point, you stop, and let it dry out some, though it will stay damp in the very middle, and continue to decompose. When it has cooled down, you add a bit of compost or dirt, and either seeds or a veggie/herb start, and voila! You do need to keep these moist, but the decomposing strawbale with shelter and nurture the plant (or plants – you can have more than one, depending on size, plant spacing, etc) until harvest.

Plants I’d like to grow from a straw bale garden?  Broccoli! Pumpkins and squash! Summer squash! Tomatoes! Peppers! Then, I’ll put my leafy crops, beans, peas, and maybe ONE cutting cucumber plant, and one pickling variety in my garden boxes.

 

Have you made any resolutions for next year? 

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