Thursday, December 31, 2009

My First Year Garden: Lessons Learned

Technically, this wasn't my first year gardening. I'd grown veggies in pots last year. However, this year was my first concerted effort at actually producing instead of experimenting with which spots got the best light & such in the yard. And, geez, I've learned a lot this year. From an indoor aphid infestation to first strawberries to fall vegetables left for dead, there was good, bad & ugly!

Here are my lessons learned:

  1. Start peppers indoors earlier than the other vegetables. They take longer to germinate.
  2. Get another grow light or start fewer things from seeds. My seedlings were far too crowded which resulted, I think, in leggy purple basil.
  3. When I plant outside, lay out a soaker hose. This will make irrigation easier in the summer when the rains stop. (Wrangling a hose through and around tomato plants heavy with baby tomatoes is not fun. Some precious darlings get knocked off!). Or, figure out some drip irrigation scheme.
  4. Plant tomatoes at the end of the bed or in the back so they don't shade the peppers.
  5. Plant selection: Sungolds are keepers, Wonder Lights are blah.
  6. In January or February, mark the planting dates for the entire year on my Outlook calendar. And set reminders!
  7. Net my ground cherries. I only got 5 last year from my garden & the rest went to the blasted robins.
And, 2010 will be the year of me tracking garden expenses and weighing garden yields. My garden is certainly my hobby and not a money-saving venture, but I am interested in its impact on our budget.

1 comment:

  1. Just happened upon your blog - love it! I'm a MD gardener.