October 8, 2010

Gardening Resolutions for 2011

For me, one of the greatest Pleasures of the Prairie is having time and space to grow a garden.  There are lots of reasons I love gardening.  I love the sense of pride I feel when I tell people I'm eating something I grew myself.  I love having a hobby to share with my children (and they say your kids are more likely to eat their veggies if they've helped grow them).  When it's the dead of winter and I'm longing for warm weather, I love thumbing through the garden catalogs and dreaming of how I'm going to plant things the next summer.  Having fresh vegetables right here pushes me to eat them, and when I can't get to the store, I know I've got fresh produce.  But most importantly, my homegrown veggies taste DELICIOUS.  

Here are some "resolutions" for how I'll do things next year:

1) Plant broccoli again
This year I added broccoli to my garden.  It was the sweetest broccoli I've ever eaten.  This is definitely a keeper!   You might notice the holes in the leaves, which are caused by the cabbage worm/ cabbage butterfly.  It's very important to soak your broccoli in lukewarm salt water before blanching to kill the little green worms.  Yuck!  Thanks for that tip Dad!

2) Get my soil analyzed
I started all my tomatoes from seed in my garage.  I planted 19 tomato plants. Okay, so maybe I went a little crazy.   I still have about 10 plants.  Unfortunately, alot of those tomatoes were ruined by "blossom end rot," which looks like this:

I think I can avoid this by a soil analysis, which will tell me what nutrients my soil is missing or getting too much of.

One thing I learned this year is to PRUNE THE TOMATOES.  Otherwise they fall over like this:

4) Plant a zucchini hill
Last year we had 2 hills, and way too much zucchini to eat.  I made lots of chocolate zucchini bread.  But I swore I would not plant any more zucchini.  This summer I really regretted that!  Next year I'm definitely planting a hill.

Speaking of squash, I am really excited about my butternut squash.  I absolutely love to make it into soup, and this is the first year I've successfully grown it!  Can't wait to eat it!

5) Plant marigolds again
Here's my organic pest control.  Not sure how well it worked, since I still had potato bugs and cabbage worms.  But the burst of color really catches your eye as you go by, and the colors do double duty as fall decoration.

 How did your garden turn out this year?  What will you do differently next year?

1 comment:

Jenny Bulmanski said...

Raised beds... definitely raised beds. Otherwise, I can't control the moisture and end up with bursting tomatoes.