Thursday, July 10, 2008

Harvest and What I've Learned So Far

Here are some of my first harvested produce from the garden. There are two zucchini, three cucumbers, two green onion and one small yellow onion, my first ripe tomato, and my first green bell pepper. Most of these were for a salad for dinner and we ate them fresh from the garden.

I've been thinking lately about how much I've learned just in the last four months about gardening. There have been so many lessons that I think will help me as I plan next year's garden. Here's a list of lessons that come to mind:

* Not all bugs are bad - some bugs are "good guys"
* Organic fertilizer makes a huge difference in the growth of new plants
* When starting seedlings indoors, I need to provide them more space to grow inside (either transplant to bigger pots while still inside or plant in a bigger pot in the first place)
* When starting seedlings indoors, I need a bigger light so the seedlings don't have to stretch (and become spindly) to reach the light
* I need to have a cold frame or some sort of protection to harden off seedlings before setting them out
* Once the seedlings are in the ground and set in, mulch to prevent weeds and control soil moisture and temp
* May and June will require more weeding than July and later because the plants haven't grown enough to block the weeds' sunlight yet
* Flowers in the garden are not just a visual accessory, they are necessary for attracting pollinators
* If pollinators don't come and work for you, do it yourself with a small child's paintbrush
* Plant lettuce early and protect it from heat and sun
* Harvest as soon as the plant is ready and often
* Once a plant is spent, remove it from the garden to keep the garden tidy
* Make sure there is enough space in the garden for the full-grown size of the plants you choose
* Make vertical supports to maximize space, especially with sprawling plants.

Today's local weather:
High temp: 83 F
Low temp: 66 F
Partly cloudy

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