Sometimes life interferes with itself and projects get pushed around. While I have been away, much has happened in the garden. Basically, the garden became patches of dirt again. Other than the herbs and horseradish, the garden has been put to sleep for the winter. For me, next year’s garden has to be planned and started. I have started tallying the harvest totals from this summer, we have been strategizing about why some crops didn’t perform as hoped, and have started to think about what to plant for next summer. Because that last part has to be more or less finalized by the end of the year so I can start the seedlings again, there is only so much time left to make that decision.
A quick look at the data show a significant percentage of the harvest came from three crops, two tomatoes and a volunteer banana squash plant. The two crops that didn’t perform as hoped were the beets and kale. We think we determined what went wrong with the beets and the problem with the kale was the variety. Since we first started the garden and last had success with beets, we planted another row of tomatoes on one side and the blackberry vines grew much larger. These two happenings created more shade over the area we plant the beets. Between the decreased light and a switch to straw instead of pine needle mulch, which corresponds to our largest to-date problems with slugs and snails, we think we found our problems.
As for the kale, we planted dinosaur kale this year instead of the winterbor kale we grew last year. We had one winterbor kale this year and although the dinosaur kale was hit by aphids, then snails and slugs, then deer, the winterbor kale right next to the other was not hit by any of those. All that, plus that we like winterbor kale better, will compel us to grow it next year. One problem easily solved.
At home, peppers I had planted are growing great. A number of the hot peppers and a few herbs were moved to warmer winter weather are enjoying the sunshine. I still have one experimental crop growing, but I think I have a month or so before that is unveiled.