End of Season Garden Thoughts…


Today I pulled out some of my biggest tomato plants.  They had done way beyond what I had hoped.  Each day I was picking more tomatoes than I could have ever imagined possible in my little garden.  I’ll continue pulling the vegetable plants, mostly tomatoes, that are done for the season.  But not willing to give up growing things, I started a tray of herbs that I’m hoping will thrive inside during the winter months.  So far, they are doing fairly well.  Having fresh parsley and cilantro, from my garden, during the colder months will be quite the treat.  As I was pulling the tomato plants this morning I started thinking about what I will do differently next year.

For one, I’ll do a better job labeling the tomatoes in a way that my twinadoes cannot mess with.  Most of the tomatoes I was able to recognize once they were growing by their shape and size, but that darn Green Zebra was a bit of a challenge.  Speaking of tomatoes, I won’t grow as many.  I started with over 150 seedlings knowing full well that they wouldn’t all survive and that I would give many away.  Even with that, I had way too many, unless I really do learn how to can.  I keep saying I will, but… The variety I grew was great.  I’ll do more cherry and romas next year and less Marglobes.  Not that I didn’t like them, I just had way too many.

My poor zucchini…I put them out too early this year and the first batch died.  They were doing so well too, but sadly, I had to replant.  The second batch did really well, but then just failed to really grow.  I had about four plants that did ok, not great.  In my area, the Pacific Northwest, zucchini is that one crop you know you are going to get tons of so not sure what really happened to mine.  Uuuggghhh!  But have no fear, next year I’ll be back with the same varieties as last year, the only difference is I’ll be swimming in them…keeping fingers crossed.

My broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower were not fantastic.  I did get some broccoli but my daughter loves the stuff and would bite off growth as it emerged.  I won’t be planting as much and I think I’ll put it in a different bed next year.

My lettuce….oh my lettuce or should I say oh those darn birds.  As soon as my lettuce was about an inch tall they would swoop in and mow it down.  I had to grow it inside in trays, I even went so far as to plant each seed in it’s own cell.  Yes, I am that cray cray.  My eyes were bonkers after that one.  My memory must have been erased because when I was doing my fall plantings what did I put out again, and what was eaten AGAIN… More lettuce will be planted next year and I will cover it with bird netting or some other method of keeping those hungry salad eaters out.

Carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips and rutabagas and swiss chard will be returning for sure!!  I’ll pay a little more attention to thinking out the seedlings, not sure why that is just so hard for me to do, but it is.  I know in the end I’ll get a better harvest but I just try to grow it all!!

Cilantro, sweet basil, Thai basil and parsley and Chinese chives will be back times three!!!  A tray of each will be grown, maybe two!  Honestly, can you ever have enough of those?  Not me!!!

Overall, I am very pleased with my garden especially after the past three seasons.  Those were awful, nothing grew, well except for my belly which did produce the best harvest yet… I’ve learned a lot this year about what works in my area, my actual garden and for me.  Patience will need to grow so I don’t put my seedlings out too early, my reality needs to get a little more clear (no RHOS you don’t live on a 5 acre farm), and my list of what I will truly use needs a little fine tuning (I blame it on those darn seed packets and how cute they are).

The next few weeks will be spent harvesting the last of my bounty, then cleaning it all up so it will be ready to start again.  My hard working worms will be retired from their little Worm Factory and put out to pasture, so to speak.  Then, after all is settled, I’ll take a few months off (except for my herbs that will hopefully grow) to enjoy the holidays and go cray cray inside baking, cooking and of course turning my home into holiday insane.  My love of the holidays, starting with Halloween, is a post that will be done a little later…I have a garden to tend.


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