I didn't post much about the garden last fall, and so an update, before I start in on this year's garden.
I planted a LOT of things last year, and most did really well- especially for my first garden :)
The herbs did really well, even though I never got around to drying any for winter use (well, I tried - they went mouldy instead). My brassica crops did great as well, except for the green cabbage. I grew the red and the green cabbage right next to one another, and the damn cabbage moth caterpillars ate almost the entire crop of green cabbages, while leaving the red completely alone. I'll try covering the brassicas this year and see how it works, but I'm also willing to let the caterpillars have the green cabbages if it means they leave everything else alone!
The tomatoes and peppers did GREAT! I harvested over 90 pounds of plum tomatoes for canning (salsa, crushed tomatoes and sauce), plus a lot more "beefsteak"-type for fresh eating. And lots of peppers, both hot and sweet.
The beans and peas would have done better if I actually remembered to harvest them more often, but I did get a few meals out of them - none for the freezer though. And actually, the peas would have done VASTLY better had the local rabbit not decided to use them as it's bed every night!
The lettuce, beets, carrots, onion, etc. - all did good, and provided a lot of food over the course of the summer. Staggered planting really made a difference with these crops, allowing smaller harvests at regular intervals, instead of a glut all at once.
And then the squash. Remember the squash that was doing fantastic? That I bragged about?
I really should know better.
It went from this:
To this, one month later:
I got a handful of zucchini, two spaghetti squashes and one lemon cucumber.
Enough for a meal or so, out of such a promising crop. And all because of the #($*@ cucumber beetles. The beetles transmit a bacterium, Erwinia tracheiphilia, that causes bacteria wilt. The grubs also feed on the roots of the plants, compounding the problem.
The worst part? I did plant pathology research for 15 years. I KNOW this stuff. And I still ignored the problem, resulting in a complete crop loss. Grrrr.....
Ah, well, live and learn, right? Part of this whole journey is to figure things out, before it becomes completely necessary to rely on them. A crop loss last year, while frustrating, didn't mean I starved last winter. But I did learn a valuable lesson :)
And now on to this year's garden...