Reflections: Our Garden Year to Date

By JULIE - 8:38:00 PM

our tomatoes have gone wild
 I was being really good about posting an update once a week on our garden but I have slacked this month so here are my general comments on our garden for the month of August and year to date.  The pictures taken in the third week of August. 

What Went Wrong This Year 
  • Our tomatoes were too heavy and prolific for our trellises.  The trellises all collapsed under the weight and we couldn't even walk down the aisles making harvest difficult.  We Used PVC pipes as a trellis and small foot long stakes for each plant.  Next year we plan to make wooden trellises that are taller so we can walk under them but with wood and attached to each other.  Like the picture I sketched on top of our tomato picks.  We also plan to have individual tall cages for each plant
  • Our plants grew into our aisles too much because they were planted to close and the trellises were too close to the paths.  Next year I plan to plant further away and put the trellises a few inches in.
  • Spinach never germinated  I planted several times but it never took.  Therefore we never used 1/16 of our garden. I should have started in the greenhouse to make sure the seeds were still good. 
  • Squirrels ate our June harvest of strawberries and all of our corn harvest.  Next year we will have to protect these crops better.  
  • Beans and Peas were planted too late and lost out on crop yield
  • cilantro was planted too late
  • Purple Basil grew from seed but was overshadowed by the kale and never really grew even though I kept trimming back the kale by it.
  • Cucumbers I bought didn't grow any better than what I grew from seed.  I think they need lots of light and seem to do well once off the ground.  Next year I plan to stake the young seedlings to see if that helps. 
  • I did not harvest our swiss chard and kale enough and will do better next year.
  • My Tea Garden was off to a rough start thanks to squirrels digging in them after I just planted seeds.  I think next year I will start in a greenhouse only.  Our stevia plant we bought did well though and so did our lemon balm and cat nip.
What Went Well This Year 
  • Kale grew no problem spring to current.  It's a tough cookie, highly nutritious and perfect for MN weather.  Why did I never grow this before? 
  •  Strawberries grew lots of suckers so we will have many to transplant into our front bed that we extended in the spring (we currently have soybeans there)We should have a lot of strawberries next year.
  • Tomatoes although the support systems proved to be not enough for them, boy did they produce well.
  • Our helper cantaloupe (thanks to our under matured compost) did surprisingly well.  We hadn't planned on planting melons due to bad past years, but I think I will try it again next year.
August Notes

We have so many red peppers I'm eating it everyday.  Our hot peppers grown from our own transplant that weren't blocked by the wild tomatoes did well.  The peas started to die and become diseased.  I think I need to plant early and then plant a 2nd crop in place of the existing peas.  We took down the peas.  The blue jade corn matured early and we already pulled up the plants.  The pole beans took longer to get started but have the potential to grow much more and are easier to harvest.  This was our first year growing pole beans. We have been harvesting tomatoes constantly. 

pole beans
lemon balm

sugar snap peas
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  1. We had the same problem with our tomatoes..not enough support and too close together, but we are getting lots. yay!

    Your lemon balm looks lovely, my poor plant is in a bad spot and we're going to try to plant some in my actual tea garden.

  2. We learn a little every year. I already can't wait for next season!


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