Sunday, August 29, 2010

What have we learned this year?

We had some rough times this year:

  • Hail storm
  • Zucchini vine borers
  • Zucchini white leaf fungus
  • Set some plants out too late
  • Squirrels munching tomatoes
  • Squirrels and birds eating all the corn
  • Cucumbers dying off
  • Winter Squash/Pumpkins dying off
  • Barley is too much effort
  • Tomatoes don't do great in buckets
  • Our upside down tomatoes didn't do too great, and the fruit had extremely tough skin
  • Our lettuce was bitter
  • Peas need to be planted crazy early, then pulled to make way for other stuff
  • Cucumbers being eaten by something - maybe deer?
So for next year we'll make some changes.

  • Tomatoes and corn will grow in cages, but these cages need to be accessible. Our current cage system is a pain, too much effort to get into it (small access ports, which we wire up).
  • We need to plant several different kinds of winter squash. We have gotten a decent amount of squash, but it's all butternut. Woulda been cooler to have several varieities.
  • Don't plant onions and carrots under landscape fabric, not many of them came up.
  • Don't bother with tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets, they didn't produce much. However, peppers in buckets did well. Next year we try more peppers in buckets.
  • Tomatoes need some better trellising. Next year they get tomato cages when young, and when older get a pvc trellis (covered with chicken wire, with easy access ports).
  • Zucchini will be started much, much earlier. We'll put out traps with yellow buckets of soapy water to catch the vine borer bugs. Also we can put row covers over the zucchini to keep the vine borers out. I don't know what we can do about the white fungus (mildew? mold?). if we start the plants much earlier, we'll get a lot more zucchini, so maybe we won't care as much when mold kills the plants in late August.
  • Potatoes are pretty cool, we should do more. We should also start them much earlier and try a few different types/colors.

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