There’s no frost on the punkins but they are ripe earlier than I expected. I think we’ll have about twenty of them when all’s said & done. If they keep, maybe I’ll put them out on a table in front of the house and try to sell ’em for a few bucks each.
Yesterday I had the kids pull out the yellow squash vines because they were beginning to get some mildew and I didn’t want it spreading to the pumpkins. Plus, I am DONE with yellow squash. We have enough in the freezer to be still having ratatouille in January.
I want to say the garden was a failure this year but really, if I’m being objective, it was a moderate success. Considering we broke new sod and fought the grass all the way, considering the late, wet spring, coolish summer, and my own craziness at the end of last school year I’d say we did OK. The lettuces were excellent and lasted a long time, the peas were pretty good, the beans so-so, the squash abundant and the pumpkins took over. The watermelons didn’t do much – they’re still out there growing but I don’t know if they’ll get big enough or ripen. Oh, and I think I still have some onions underneath the pumpkin vines.
When we began this venture I said I’d like to be growing most of our own food within five years. This was year one. I think it’s going to be a steep learning curve, but we’re climbing. So far I’ve learned that
- starting a large garden on newly broken sod is a big, difficult job, but not impossible
- ideally, new ground should be prepared the fall before planting
- composted manure really makes a difference
- try to find a source of garden amendments that doesn’t come in expensive little plastic bags
- being ambitious at planting time is a good thing because not everything will grow well
- a few minutes in the garden everyday is better than hours once a week
- putting a couple of camp chairs in a shady spot near the garden will encourage me to spend time there
- pumpkin vines spread
- place giant pumpkins in a good position when they are small so they don’t get a flat spot
- you only need one yellow squash plant
- mulch early
- hoe often
- weedblock between rows works well