All last winter I dreamed of starting my vegetable garden.
It turned out just as I had imagined it, but not everything worked out like I hoped. I learned plenty of good lessons this year that I will definitely pay more attention to next time.
Lesson 1) Trellises need to be staked in the ground
I made my own trellises this year and didn't think about having to steak them in the ground, so whenever a strong gust of wind came about, they fell right over! Luckily my plants didn't snap in half. The thinner ones I was able to push into the dirt but I couldn't do it with the thicker ones. Next year I will probably attach some write to the bottom of them to push in the ground.
Lesson 2) Squash borers!
These are the worst things ever! The stupid little worms hatch from eggs laid at the base of squash plants and bore their way up through the center of the plant, cutting off its water supply and killing it slowly. I lost every single squash plant I planted, and that was what I was most looking forward to. :( Next year I will sprinkle repellent on them like crazy.
Lesson 3) Plant Early Crops Sooner
I waited too long to plant my cooler season crops like peas and spinach so they ended up not doing much and then burning up as the weather got hot.
Lesson 4) Self pollination is a good idea.
I had plenty of bees buzzing around my garden so I didn't think I would have any problem with pollination, yet all my future squash would turn brown and fall off right after they were done flowering. Once I starting self pollinating each fruit, I didn't lose any. Until the squash borers came around of course!
Lesson 5) Loose Dirt is Good Dirt
Around here our soil is a solid mass of red clay. It was a lot of work to loosen it up and and mix it with nice dirt so I probably didn't do a great job with that. As a result my carrots, beets and radishes didn't do to well, so next year I'll make sure to get that dirt nice and loose!
Lesson 6) Hungry Rabbits!
Never underestimate the power of a hungry rabbit! I had to wrap my fence in rabbit wire to keep these guys out, otherwise I think they would have eaten everything.
All in all it was a pretty good vegetable garden, I am really looking forward to next year!
What are some lessons you have learned about vegetable gardening?