Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lessons Learned

This year our garden has been a place of continual joy.  From building the beds, to moving the dirt, to planting the seeds, to all the weeding, weeding, weeding, and finally to the harvest, we've come to love our time spent with our hands in the dirt.  But along with every new endeavor, there has been a VERY steep learning curve, with plenty of aha moments.  This year in our garden we've learned:
  • Dirt really does matter.  The plants in our raised bed did great, the plants put in the local clay - not so great
  • Potatoes need more then 6 inches of dirt, or at least need to be planted deeper or you will only harvest the amount of potatoes you plant
  • It is possible to plant too much basil
  • Planting lots of lettuce is great, but spreading out the plantings is a good idea
  • Broccoli plants keep producing broccoli long after you harvest the first head, so don't pull the plants
  • Melons that sit on the ground in the wet soil will rot and have to be fed to the chickens
  • It is a good idea to communicate exactly what you planted in a garden  before you ask your husband to clean out the bed - this is likely to save your asparagus plants
  • The three sisters garden where you plant pumpkins, beans and corn together is a beautiful idea, but if the corn doesn't thrive, the beans will overtake and knock down the corn, killing the corn, and making it difficult to find the beans
  • If you don't like cabbage and radishes before you plant them, you still won't like them after you plant them
  • Don't cheat and plant your plants too close to each other, they will fill in, especially tomatoes
  • Carrots need deep soil
  • The weed horsetail is not easy to get rid of
  • If you take the time to teach, three year olds can identify all the vegetables and herbs in your garden and even run outside to get you oregano when you are trying to cook and nurse a baby at the same time

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