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Well it's that time of year for us and since we didn't manage to get our garden going this year, we don't have much to do and we can get it done in one weekend. Just have to clean up the front flower beds, cut down peony since it's been done for the year, and get everything we don't use outside in the winter put in the shed.
Winter brings on new projects though. I'm going to start planning next years garden next month. Guess who's going to do all the work?!?! Me. The froggies want nothing to do with it till I start pulling out seed packets in the spring.
Our littlest froggy is going to do a smaller indoor project with me. We love fresh herbs here on the pond and when it freezes up outside, we don't get any and they cost way too much. So he and I are planting a little indoor garden in our kitchen. Just a couple pots and a grow light. He's excited about it, I'm just hoping we won't get dirt all over the floor. Father Frog is not going to like dirt on his clean floor!
We just went out and cut everything back for the year. We're getting our first cool nights of the fall so I figure it's time to cut it all back.
What we learned this year:
We WAY over-did the basil this year. Planted somewhere around 12 plants when we could've gotten by with 2. So when we decided to cut back for the year, we're stuck with this HUGE bushel of basil and nothing to do with it. We already have plenty in the freezer, plenty dried and plenty of pesto (which we don't even use). So it will all be going to the trash, I suppose.
The cucumbers were a disappointment. I'm not sure where we went wrong but the cukes that came in only half filled out before turning yellow and the leaves started yellowing and dying a few weeks ago. After looking at things, I think we had a combination of 3 or 4 different pests, some pollination issues and possibly some root rot.
The cayennes never even came in. The plants sprouted and grew to maybe 3" and then just stopped.
The bell pepper plant did ok. The fruits didn't get very big at all. I'm not sure what that's all about but I'm assuming probably bad soil. The largest pepper we picked all year was about 1/3 the size you'd see in the grocery. I guess next year we'll try enriching the soil a bit more.
I don't even know what we're going to plant next year. I think instead of planting in the ground like we did this year we'll just do a bunch of containers. This way we have better control over the dirt.
I don't know what's wrong with our soil. When we first turned it, it looked great. Looked really fertile and there were plenty of worms and such living in it. Once we actually planted in it, though, everything died. We tried lavender, that never even sprouted. Tried sage, thyme and parsley... it all died. We thought the basil would die off as well but it somehow managed to survive and take off. So we planted a row of bell peppers in the same soil and out of 18 plants, only one survived. I'd put more effort into it but honestly, it's a tiny plot and it's rental property. We'll just do containers so we have better control over the soil and can move the plants around, if need be.
I'm sure we need to pay more attention to the dirt next year. This year we just went straight Miracle Gro garden soil and nothing else. I think we'll have to do some nitrogen-rich stuff or something. Not really sure. I'll have to research a bit more before planting. This was our first year planting so it's been more of a learning experience than anything. I'm hoping to turn next year into something that we can live off of.