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New Year – New Garden

This is supposed to be a blog about my garden, though you’d never know it so far!  So, about my (relatively new) garden…

My garden is your standard 1/4 acre on a new street backed up against the woods. There are empty lots on either side of us, but the rest of the street has filled in pretty quickly. We’ve lived here almost 3 years. The first summer the back yard was mounds of dirt from the digging of our foundation.

The second summer we were able to landscape a bit and have a small garden. This past summer of 2011 I was able to put in some plantings and add to the vegetable garden.

Here’s what I tried to grow in 2011:

pumpkins, lettuce, spaghetti squash, kalabash gourds, yellow summer squash, zucchini, corn salad, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, hot peppers, green peppers, scallions, onions, swiss chard, melons, arugula, string beans, decorative gourds, sweet corn, carrots, beets, turnips, sugar peas, a few herbs, strawberries, rhubarb

Mixed results – but some of that grew very well and we ate many garden dinners, mostly zucchini-based!

Biggest Accomplishments of 2011

  • 7 raised beds
  • strawberries
  • eggplant
  • enough tomatoes to can, though not as much as I would like
  • sweet corn!
  • rhubarb
  • amazing parsley
  • zucchini, lots
  • beans
  • peas

Dismal Failures of 2011

  • butternut squash – not a single one
  • only 2 pumpkins
  • cucumbers
  • peppers – I cut back on # of plants because we had so many last year,  but it was not nearly enough
  • onions – scallions okay, but onion sets barely grew
  • turnips – total infestation of something that decimated them and went on to decimate the beets and kohlrabi, too
  • beets
  • kohlrabi

New year, time to get serious.

Garden resolutions for 2012:

    • get soil tested
    • grow potatoes in barrels as recommended in Urban Homesteading by Rachel Kaplan
    • figure out how to get manure and straw (where to get it and how to transport it)
    • build more raised beds
    • try garlic
    • build cold frames
    • put in fruit trees – cherry, apricot, maybe apples, but they are so plentiful and cheap here…
    • put in small fruit shrubs –  currants, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, gooseberries
    • make a solar dehydrator
    • put in an asparagus bed
    • grow more herbs
    • plant in guilds and polycultures, like the 3 sisters guild
    • plant more cold weather crops
    • figure out out to successfully grow tomatoes here – lots of nasty tomato diseases lurking everywhere
    • do compost right
    • construct an herb spiral
    • try broccoli and cauliflower
    • find and grow Jerusalem artichokes
    • plant edible flowers
    • get better at succession planting
    • preserve more food
    • figure out what I can grow on the steep slopes in our yard
Looks pretty bleak right now…but on the first day of a new year I have nothing but hope!
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