The first of the gardening season is always exciting but this year I was soon very discouraged. Just after we planted, it seemed to rain and continue to rain all of June. Our garden flooded. I came to terms with it though and decided that's just the way it goes some years. That's a good reason to stock up when you have a good year. You just never know how things will go the next.
Then, the sun started shining last of June and things started to look more hopeful. I knew at that point, the garden needed all the help I could give it. We started that with replanting many of the green beans in July with the hope that there wouldn't be a early frost. Sometimes you have to take a chance.
You know gardening used to be easy, I would just plant, weed, and then harvest the garden. This year with the weather changing it was so challenging and I had to work harder than any other year to help it grow. One of the first things I read about was how to grow onions bigger than a golf ball. Come to find out all this time I was planting them too deep. You are never too old to learn new tricks.
We were halfway through the garden season and I realized the tomatoes if I was going to get more than a couple of tomatoes per plant I needed to help them. After watching a few you tube videos I bought a cheap electric toothbrush at Dollar General and started to help pollinate each plant. I buzzed each bloom with the toothbrush and I started to see fantastic results. Most of the time I worked in the morning and in my housecoat. I was the pollinator fairy! Yep, I know the neighbors are still talking about that one.
Then, I asked the neighbor for his grass clippings and I spread them between the rows to cut down on the weeds. The grass clippings also helped to retain moisture when we went through a few dry periods. I actually had to water!
Slowly but surely the produce started rolling in. Small at times but we had a harvest. Towards the end here we were blessed with a great green bean, mustard green, and cabbage harvest.
Here is our total this year:
Lots of leaf lettuce
20 very small onions out of the grow bag
20 purple and 20 yellow onions out of the garden
21 spaghetti squash-some very small
30 or more zucchini (I lost track)
2 bushel of tomatoes
10 of the smallest ears of corn you've ever seen!
4 bushels of rattlesnake green beans
2 bushel of Mustard greens
Organic matter -adequate level
No Lime is needed
Nitrogen is needed on a yearly basis
Phosphorus, potassium, calcium is all above Optimum.
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Impressive totals for a problem gardening year! Could you plant a cover crop of clover for the nitrogen?
Thanks Mazie, I look into the clover!
What a blessing when you expected little to nothing! We have a lot of trees and tons of leaves so our nitrogen is chopped leaves and for us they free. I have seen people online asking for leaves this year. My Great Aunt hauled home bags of leaves put out for the trash in her neighborhood all fall and chopped them for fertilizer.
We put our leaves and the neighbors leaves in the garden. I remember a neighbor hauling all the neighbors leaves to his garden. I think we need to step up the game like your aunt and our neighbor Lana this year. Great idea.
I'm a little surprised how much you actually got after seeing your before pictures. Were you able to put up enough canning goods to add to your pantry? May I ask what you did with all the squash? The only thing I ever did with my zucchini was grate and freeze in portion sizes for making bread.
@Vickie a great haul from your gardens indeed.
You can used pelletised urea which is cheap to buy and water it in with about 1/4 - 1/2" water. This is what we use and we also incorporate shredded dried leaves that we dig into the soil and/ or mix with grass clippings for mulch. The leaves add nutrients and stops the grass clippings from matting in the mulch.
Hope this helps.
Pantry is pretty well stocked up now with green beans and tomatoes. With the zucchini I slice length wide and drain on paper towel then freeze them for lasagne. The spaghetti squash I cook and freeze for spaghetti dinners. I kept one in my pantry this year without processing to see how long it will last. I did make zucchini bread and froze that too.
Thanks Lorna, I'm looking that up right now. Good information! Have a great day.
Funny how I just used to make bread with my zucchini and i never grew a squash till last year! My tastes are changing. Have a great day tealady!
your corn looks like popcorn But a lot of the sweet corn around here didn't make at all or got ate by the coons. Canning corn(yellow sweet corn instead of white or bicolored) did very well but was wormy
I'm not sure why I even tried with corn Chef..I haven't been successful with corn in many years. I couldn't pass those little corn plants by though. We have had both of your problems!
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