Home > Food, gardening > End of the season gardening notes

End of the season gardening notes

This is my second year with a large garden. I’ve always grown a few things if I had the space, my first husband had a garden, and my dad had a garden, but I only recently started gardening with the intent of being more self-sufficient. This is also the first year I had any luck at all with seeds.

I’m mostly writing this for myself. Your mileage may vary because we all have different gardening areas, different soil, and different tastes in vegetables.

This was a hard growing season for everyone in my zone. The weather was always really, really hot, or really, really cool for summer. That certainly had an effect on my plants, but that aside, I’m making notes on what to do more of and what to skip next year.

Tomatoes: I’m going to plant more of these and stick to the same variety. This year I had one cherry tomato plant and one beefsteak tomato plant. I got maybe ten beefsteak tomatoes, and they weren’t much bigger than the cherry tomatoes. I’m pretty sure they got cross pollinated. These will be planted in large pots.

Peppers: I need to start these early under a cold form, and I want to be sure to have some bell peppers, some jalapenos, and some pepperonicinis. These should go in the raised beds. Also, I want to build a second bed.

Onions: I’m going to plant these in a raised bed and I’m going to plant a longer row of them.

Lettuce: Same as the onions.

Zucchini: At least 4 plants in the ground, and I won’t try to prop them next year.

Cucumbers: These will go in the ground up against the garage and I want to try to have 4-6 plants.

Herbs: various herbs will go in the raised bed.

Green beans: At least 10 plants, preferably bush beans, next to the garage.

Spinach: In the raised bed, 4-6 plants

Things I’m not going to bother with:

Potatoes (the amount of potatoes you get from a plant cost less bought at the grocery store than the dirt used to build up the plant)
brussels sprouts (they take up too much room for the amount of veggies you get
corn (doesn’t grow enough to be worth the trouble and we have really bad corn borers around here)
peas (you have to have a lot more plants than I have room for to make it worth growing these – 6 plants got me enough for one meal)
yellow squash (every time they started to grow, they’d rot off the plant before they got big enough)
pumpkins (they just don’t grow here)
watermelons (same as pumpkins)

These notes are mostly written for me, so don’t take this as advice or anything. I just need somewhere to store this information where a kid won’t rip it up, so when I’m standing in front of the seed packets next year, I’m not overly excited and buying things that won’t grow.

Categories: Food, gardening
  1. October 1, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    In our garden in Chicago, we similarly had bad weather and tomatoes weren’t nearly as prolific as in years past, although the cherry tomatoes did pretty good. I didn’t think about cross-pollination, that was interesting. Jalapenos did great, as always, but green bell peppers were again not as good as previous years, when there were so many we couldn’t eat/give them away. Herbs did really well.

    I liked your blog. Thanks for writing it!

    • October 1, 2011 at 2:24 pm

      I’m not far from you, actually. Probably about two hours west of you, closer to Freeport. I had the same experience with the peppers. I’m still getting jalapenos, actually, but the green peppers just didn’t do great. I’d say I got a dozen all summer. Funny enough, the one plant that did the best was the one that I got from Aldi that already had peppers on it. It wasn’t supposed to produce much of anything, from what I read, because it was transplanted too late, but I’d say I got 10 of the peppers out of 12 from that! Another thing I forgot to add to the list was okra. My son loves it so I planted a couple of plants and got a total of three okra. That’s not even enough for gumbo.

      Hopefully next year will be better for both of us!

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