Looking back – and looking forward

 

And so, as the leaves all start falling from the trees and we are preparing to celebrate Halloween, I am looking at photos of the front beds and getting excited and ready for next year. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I’m a little disappointed in how the garden turned out this year. The flowers did great – the vegetables were a huge disappointment. I can sit here and blame a variety of factors but the ultimate “X factor” is me. All my careful planning and at the end of the day, I did not follow all the way through. Unfortunately, there was not enough yield to do a bunch of posts on canning and preserving food, recipes, etc. I am more than a little disappointed in myself. However, instead of stewing about what went wrong this year, I want to go ahead and start planning for next year and what I can do to make sure my gardens do better. Some thoughts:

  1. First and foremost, I am going to invest in a good drip watering system that I can turn on in the morning and make sure all my veggies get a good watering – not too much, not too little. That will go a long way.
  2. I will make a list of everything I intend to plant for the year, and everything I already have coming up. Then I will research how much water, sun, fertilizer, etc. that each plant needs. Armed with this information, first thing this spring, I will move any plant that is not in a properly suitable location and come up with a schedule of daily activities for each part of the garden. I will fertilize on a schedule, and this plan also includes weeding and deadheading. This will require a lot of planning, but I have the whole winter for it.  If I actually have a plan, it will be much easier to follow it.
  3. For vegetables – I will plan to make sure that everything is being planted at the proper time, and with the proper amount of sun, space, etc. Most importantly, when I start to have yield, I will have a plan for what to do with it! When I pick it, I should have recipes on the ready to enjoy it. What I can’t eat right away, I should have a plan to share, can, freeze, etc. I do not want another year where good produce rots on the vine (or in the fridge) because I did not have a good plan for using it.
  4. Most importantly — I will remember to take time to enjoy the garden every day. Every morning, start my day with a cup of coffee wandering around the garden, enjoying it as I water. Make sure to enlist the help of the littlest hands in my house so we can all enjoy getting a little dirty and working outside.
  5. We got too busy with renovations and lots of other things going on at home for me to commit to the Master Gardener program this year as originally planned. I want to follow through and complete that course next year so I can learn some better practices and how to plan/organize/execute the garden better going forward, and hopefully help others do the same!

It’s never too early to try to do a little better the next time around. I have a ton of work to do in the beds over the next week or two, planting bulbs, moving a few perennials, cutting down the spent annuals, weeding, pruning. And then – let the research begin!! I will be sure to update the plant specific sections of the website with the research I do for all the plants I will have next year and that I am interested in having in the future. In the spring, I will also publish my weekly/monthly garden care schedule.

Happy planning!

 

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