Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What Worked, What Failed in 2007

I'm cutting myself a little slack this year in the way of 2008 garden planning. Knowing that I will have my hands full with a newborn, little bean this spring - I am paring down, streamlining and refocusing my garden energies.

Today's post will be about reflection. A 2007 garden season postmortem-of-sorts.

I'll post later on this week about short-cuts, no-fail veggies and flowers to grow and lighter garden projects that can be tackled and/or savored between naps, feedings, vomit and poo.

The Successes

Planting potatoes in straw. The potatoes eventually burrowed down a little further into the soil below the straw, but the minimal amount of digging, up front, makes this a winner.

Our new bean and pea trellis. Truth be told, I swiped this idea from neighbors of ours who have a tidy, productive, totally enviable garden. I consider this trellis my first step toward the upper echelon of vegetable gardeners. And a standing homage to them and how they inspire me.

The lasagna bed. It is hard to screw this one up. What I layered last spring became a viable bed this fall - for lots of bulb planting. No-till gardening rocks.

Cardboard mulching. For the raised beds. For the pathways between the beds. For the break it gave my back. Recycling never felt so good.

The Failures (a.k.a. Lessons Learned)

Seed balls.
These never produced much of anything. Big, big disappointment. After reviewing all of the variables, I realized that I should have used dry and ground terracotta, not wet terracotta. I actually can't wait to try these again. I'm thinking it would be a fun party to have with other gardeners. We can roll seed balls, gossip and compare gardening notes.

Sweet peas in containers. Not a complete failure, but not the heady volume I was hoping for . . . and had in the raised beds in previous years. They will return to the beds this upcoming season. Scrambling up the new pea trellis.

Tomatoes without any sort of fencing. This was garden gambling with almost no respect for the original inhabitants of Sugar Hollow - The Deer.

Growing corn in raised beds. A lackluster showing, at best. But I'm not completely sure it had to do with the smaller growing area or raised beds. The soil was just meh - in need of improvement and nutrients. Corn is a big feeder. So - in summary - compost, compost, compost.


That Girl . . . said...

I've never had luck with sweet peas in containers either, much to my dismay. In fact, I haven't had much luck with them in VA. My grandfather grew the most amazing garden of sweet peas and I've always had a sort of love affair with the flower ever since.

Tracey said...

Ah, yes. Sweet peas seem to thrive in places like Maine, the Pacific Northwest, Colorado.

I *have* had luck with the Old Spice variety - down here in VA . . .

Anonymous said...

I thought your corn was one of the most impressive things I saw in 2007!

Tracey said...

Thanks vegmama - you are too kind, too kind, I say.