It’s that time of year again. The ground is frozen, the holiday decorations are up, and I’ve eaten enough turkey and stuffing to last me until next November. The garden is resting, which means that, inevitably, the gardener is restless. But we get to look back, see what went wrong, what went right, and what we want to change for next year.
It was an off gardening year in general for me. My daughter was born just as the garden season was ramping up, and, happily, she was the focus of my world for most of the season. There were a few things that went very well:
Swiss Chard. I’ve written before about how happy I was with my chard this year, so I won’t belabor the point. Let’s just say it saved my fall garden.
Yellow Pear tomatoes. I missed growing these last year, so I made sure I sowed seed for them this year. Even though it was a generally crappy tomato year for me, these did very well, and very few days went by when we weren’t popping them into our mouths while we weeded or watered.
The front garden renovation. I am very, very happy to call this project “half done.” Next year, the focus will be on making the shady side of the front garden just as pretty as the sunny side.
The butterfly garden, thanks to lasagna gardening. My first large-scale attempt at lasagna gardening extended a narrow bed along the picket fence surrounding me veggie garden into a nice-sized garden full of nectar plants for monarchs. I’ll be doing more lasagna gardening in the future.
The leaf shredder/vac. My husband decided to get a leaf shredder vac for his birthday. Now, instead of shredding all of our leaves the old way (raking into a pile, running over with lawnmower, raking again to place onto beds) we just rake them into a big pile, vac them up, and dump them by the bagful onto our beds. It has saved a ton of time. I only wish I had more leaves!
Making more vegetable gardens. My husband dug up the side yard and we’ve begun amending the soil for next year’s new, large veggie garden. He also built a raised bed for along the back of the house, and will be building another in the spring. We’ve more than doubled our vegetable garden space for next year.
Tomatoes. My tomatoes were crappy this year. I blame myself. Too little attention was paid to them, both in the seedling phase and beyond.
Morning glories and lemon cucumbers on the fence. I posted about the heartbreak at seeing my plants had been ripped up by my next-door neighbors. It taught me a valuable lesson about not growing anything important on the chain link fence. However, the morning glories had the last laugh, and were back to their twining, blooming selves within a couple of weeks.
Beets. Like the tomatoes, my beets just never took off. Again, I blame myself.
Apples. We had a terrible coddling moth infestation this year, resulting in the loss of over 90% of the Golden Delicious apples from our tree. There is nothing more frustrating than picking a large, perfectly golden apple and seeing that telltale tunneling hole.
There it is, the good and the bad from this past gardening year. All in all, not a terrible year, but it could have been so much better. What were the biggest successes and failures in your garden this year?