Gardening 2013: A Look Back

Although the season is only winding down and not yet over, I’ve taken a look back at our goals and at our season and wanted to recap and share our successes and our failures lessons learned.

Here’s a recap of my post Garden Plans 2013:

  • Plant and harvest enough green beans to can/preserve for a year’s use.
  • Plant and harvest enough tomatoes to can for a year’s use.
  • Get our “fedge” or “food hedge” started.
  • Get our herb spiral built.
  • Start constructing our green house.

The green beans goal was a bust. We planted about 15′ of pole beans plus a packet of bush beans. We got enough beans for a few meals…that was it.

I’m very excited to report that we are most likely going to meet, possibly even exceed, our tomato goal! They were green for a long time, and many of them are still green. I don’t have much hope for them, but we harvested plenty to can, share and eat.

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We even had volunteers grow after the squash bugs did their damage to our volunteer spaghetti squash.

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We started our food hedge and although the deer and Japanese beetles did plenty of damage, it managed to survive…even thrive.

Autumn Olive

BEFORE

BEFOREAFTERAFTER

Aronia (Chokeberry)

Before

Before

After

After

Blueberries – We lost three, but I blame the deer.

Before

Before

After

After

And the herb spiral? Yeah, that didn’t happen. But…we did plant an herb and kitchen garden right outside the back door and it more than thrived…it took over.

Before

Before



As for our other success and lessons…I’ll let the pictures speak.
Cabbage – Lesson 
Cabbage, and other leafy greens need partial shade and fertilizer…especially when you have very alkaline soil.
Before

Before

After

After

Okra – Success

Before

Before

After

After

Roses – Success

Before

Before

After

After

Bamboo – Success (after a lesson in fertilization)

Before

Before

After

After

Trees – Success
Before
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After
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Kiwi – Lesson and Success 
Our two females, sadly, did not make it. I guess the lesson here is not to be too bummed when you get a pair of dud plants. The male is doing very well.

Male

Male

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Female 1

Females

Female 2

Other lessons include aphid control, Japanese Beetle prevention, deer deterrents and timing for getting plants in the ground—we will start some earlier next year.

We have drawn out our greenhouse plans and picked where we will put it up. We are hoping to get started in the next few weeks.

Overall, I would say we had a successful first year at the homestead.

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