How many of you had a garden this year? First year? Twentieth year? I have a small raised bed garden and it puts out a lot of amazing produce. It is my 3rd year, and I feel confident with my growing abilities. So much so that my husband thinks that we should expand it for next year. (Not sure how I feel about that.)
So there have been things that I have done the last couple years that have helped me learn what I am doing with all the produce I grow as well as where I want it to take me in the future.
I love the tomatoes I grow. I have experimented with tomatoes, and I have learned that Sweet 100s and Purple Cherokees grow amazingly, and I get an abundance of them. But that is a problem. I can’t eat them fast enough or give them away fast enough. So, I think the best thing to do for the next growing season is to grow the types that are best for canning. I have never canned but have watched videos and read article on how to can. I think the best way to preserve my awesome tomatoes is canning them mainly into pasta sauce. Maybe soup. I may not get a lot, but I can also compensate with getting extra from the farmers market if I need to. I am thinking next year I am going to go with a Roma tomato or something similar and then the sweet 100s I will make into pizza sauce because its delicious.
I need to calm down on the zucchini. This year I planted 4 plants and I have 13 bags of frozen zucchini in the freezer. Now I am not crying about it because I see lots of muffins in the winter, but it is a bit overwhelming. In 2021, I think I will just do 2 plants and that should be plenty.
This year was the first year that I planted lettuce. I also planted some collards. Man oh man, it was amazing!!!! I loved it. I loved being able go out and get lettuce for salads or BLTs. I had Buttercrunch lettuce and another, but the name evades me. My collards were excellent too. Since I had never grown lettuce before, I didn’t plant a lot but 2021 will be the year of the lettuce. I want more of it in my life because it was so great.
I did not plant squash this year and I regret it. My first year I planted 2 buttnernut squash plants and it gave me 7 large squash. It got me through half of the winter. Last year everyone’s gardens sucked because of the rain and we all ended up with blight covered plants, thus I yielded 2 squash. This year, I didn’t even plant any but got one by accident because it was labeled a cucumber but obviously was not. Oye! So, this upcoming year I plan on doing a butternut and spaghetti squash and we will call it good.
Radishes. I can grow them but they are puny. (Hold on to this thought.)
Cucumbers…cucumbers are erratic. Sometimes they produce like wild and others not so much. I do know that I like the small pickle cucumbers more than the standard cucumbers. I usually plant 2 or three and this next year will be about the same.
On a side, I have also had an issues with critters this year that I have never had an issue with before. For the most part my garden is fenced in so most critters can’t get in. I suspect some of them with their little “hands” somehow make it in as I have found some half eaten tomatoes outside.
There are a few plants in the hot seat. Eggplant is on the list. Spinach. Radishes. Potatoes. Onions and Garlic. I say these because my husband has come up with a thought about expanding the garden and making another bed for some of these plants so we can grow more of our own food. Now I have never grown any of these(except radishes and they seem to be tiny) so I am not sure how well it would work out for me, but I would be willing to give it a go. No harm in trying. Also, we have been getting our meat from a nearby farm and I am hoping that they could also supply me with some manure that I can turn into the soil before the freeze and in the spring. I feel like some of my plants are struggling with success because the soil needs some tending to. Which is all par for the course.
So there is the garden rundown of 2020. Hoping the garden of 2021 is epic and provides just as well, if not better, than this year.