It’s about time to start planning for this year’s garden and getting a seed order together, so I thought I’d do a wrap-up of 2018 to refresh my memory.
First, the harvest list I kept is at the bottom because it’s pretty long. It’s not really complete, because I forgot to add things to it several times. It’s probably about 75% there, though. Also, I was pretty conservative on the price of things, using the base price in the store. So it’s basically showing what it would cost to buy the same stuff, but not necessarily the same quality. Most of mine is organic, for instance, and I didn’t try to find organic prices.
I don’t have a garden for the money savings, because there are some things you can’t grow as cheaply as you can buy them, if your time is worth anything. I do it for other benefits, but it’s nice to know it at least pays for itself.
There were two main problems last year. The first was drought. It was very dry through most of June and July. I watered a lot, but surface water really only keeps things alive; it doesn’t make them flourish. So after the early crops like asparagus and peas, everything just kind of sat there, and it looks like June and July added together produced less than May, which is very unusual. Some things were almost a total loss, like the sweet corn and the second crop of peas, that just shriveled up in the heat.
Nothing you can do about drought, but I’m going to invest in some soaker hose this year. That lets water seep out through the hose directly onto the ground, rather than spraying it up in the air. Less evaporation that way, and it’s easier to put it where you want it. Also, it won’t attract the neighbors’ dog to come over and dance around in the water.
The second problem was the weeds got away from me in the south plot, which is why I ended up harvesting almost no squash, melons, or tomatoes. It turns out that spot has some pretty poor soil compared to the others, so it needs a lot of organic material. A foot of straw or hay mulch would be a good start, and would help a lot with the weeds. I’ll definitely be mulching more this year.
I said last year that I need to divide up some crowded asparagus mounds and start a new patch with them. I forgot all about that by winter, so now I need to look and remind myself when you do that, whether it’s fall or spring.
I got a gift certificate from a nursery for Christmas, so I need to figure out what trees to get and when. Probably fruit trees, although a couple big shade trees wouldn’t hurt either.
Next garden post: cataloging the leftover seed!