Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gardening: Late Summer Update

I'm sorry. I really meant to be more on top of giving you gardening updates. It would be easier to give you updates because my garden was at the house this year instead of half way across town, but yet, I didn't.


the square foot gardening has been a smashing success. SOOOOO glad I did it. Especially given that our summer was crazy busy and then I was laid up with burns. If I had had to go across town to harvest or weed or whatever, it just never would have happened. Speaking of weeds, I had to pull almost no weeds this year. A huge, huge, huge improvement over last year. When it seemed like that was all I did, or at least all I should be doing and didn't and by that time, the garden would be overrun with weeds.

So I ended up planting 4 boxes. Three boxes are 4 x 4 and one box is 8 x 3. Oh, and then I planted herbs in the beds in the front of the house. I plan on putting in one more 4 x 4 box soon, and maybe another couple next year.

I did a spring planting of spinach, lettuce, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, swiss chard, beets and radishes. Oh and a strawberry patch in one whole box. The cauliflower didn't grow and I discovered that I still don't like radishes, but everything else grew fabulously. I loved, loved, loved being able to go out and pick stuff for a salad every night for about a month for dinner.

Then I planted beans (and beans and beans, I've done successive planting, so we have rarely been without beans since late June), tomatoes, peppers (2 green, 1 sweet banana and 1 cayenne) eggplant, cucumbers, zucchini, and crookneck squash.

The beans we have either eaten fresh or I have put in the freezer. I don't have a ton in the freezer. Even though I planted quite a few, I think I'll devote even more garden space to beans so that I can put more beans in the freezer/pressure can, etc. Maybe even do some pickled green beans!

My roma tomatoes grew well, but the other tomato plants didn't. I got very few tomatoes on the 5 non-roma plants. But I planted 10 roma tomato plants and they have grown like gangbusters. We are still semi-drowning in tomatoes, with no real end in sight. I've been making tomato sauce out of the tomatoes. I don't have a lot of sauce so far (10 pints?) but I'm hoping by the end of the season to have 20 pints or so.

The peppers have done o.k. I just haven't had that many green peppers or banana peppers. The cayenne peppers have grown really well though. I tried those in the dehydrator and then put it in the food grinder and made my own red pepper flakes. The eggplant hasn't been a big hit, and the cucumbers and summer squash got squash bugs and died.

So this weekend, I'm planting some spinach for my fall garden and hoping to put in some more spinach, lettuce, chard, broccoli, and maybe peas in the next week or so.

This post is already long enough, but the next post (hopefully tomorrow or Tuesday) will be a picture of the garden areas and the crops growing in them, etc.

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