Friday, October 15, 2010

Highlights from the Garden

This October marks the completion of my first real garden. I've dabbled in container gardening in the past, focusing mainly on herbs, but have finally ventured on to a real community garden where I've been able to shovel manure side-by-side with old guys in overalls. Farmer Bart has been a great mentor and I've learned so much. Here are a few of the season's highlights.

Quotes from Farmer Bart
After a long morning of watching me shovel dirt and manure into my box, Farmer Bart said "just don't strain your milk!" eventually followed by "you'll get so much muscle in your shoulders you'll be poopin' it out."

Practical Lessons for Next Year
Soil matters. More organic material (leaves) to thin out the clay.
Roots need oxygen, not just water and nutrients.
Start seeds earlier, plant earlier. Harvest earlier!
Peppers grow up, not out like tomatillos, which need a lot more space.
Cantaloupe needs more vertical space and support for it's wandering vines.
Bigger cages and more space for my tomatoes.
Black fabric is worth all the initial effort. Weeding sucks.
Get soaker hoses. Watering under black fabric is a pain.

Nothing compares to fresh-picked produce. I will never eat canned tomato soup again. My first cantaloupe literally made me cry. I grew these from seeds. I can do anything. Worth every bead of sweat. Can't wait until next year!

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