We've started seeds indoors and planted directly in the spring. We've watered and fertilized, weeded and waited. We did some maintenance right on time, and let some slide, dealing with the consequences. All in all, it was worth it again this year to grow a little, organic family garden.
Our favorite new garden foods have been potatoes and carrots, fun root vegetables to try. The girls helped me dig up most of the potatoes, perhaps a little early. But we still had a big basketful. We're leaving most of the carrots in the ground for now, in hopes they'll grow bigger.
We did a great job of preventing blossom rot this year with early application of extra calcium. The heavy, sometimes bulging shapes of the Cherokee purple tomatoes are a sign of good flavor in our garden. Unfortunately we did not prevent blight from taking some casualties in the late summer humidity. It's another reminder to space and prune plants so they have plenty of air flow around them. Ideally, you should remove the entire plant at the first sight of blight to prevent the spread elsewhere in your garden. Despite that, we've still had some good tomatoes, just not the enough to preserve like we had last year.
Pole beans have once again been a carefree garden food. We can't seem to do enough wrong to prevent them from growing.
A few bell pepper plants have produced well this year. This always seems like such a savings over buying organic peppers at the store. Freshly picked peppers are much crisper and tastier than those trucked in.
It was fun learning to hand pollinate our heirloom corn.
The basil seemed to have no real issues, thriving until we picked it for a batch of pesto. Other fairly carefree foods have been leaf lettuce and dill.
This year's big disappointments have been watermelons, pumpkins, and some of the squash. We haven't figured out the trick for fending off squash borers, and they seemed to attack when we least expected it. Next year, I want to try a trick from Appalachian Feet
and plant garlic near each plant to see if that deters squash-loving pests.
Next time in the garden: gourds taking on a life of their own!