Thursday, September 16, 2010

Garden plans for 2011

Next year I plan to move the tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers to a different location in an effort to slow down the blight.  Oh, it will still rear its ugly head, but hopefully not as early on as it did this year.  This will leave room in the old garden for something else, so I might have a few cantaloupe plants.  
My sister-in-law worked for some tomato farmers in Wisconsin who raised their tomatoes in a greenhouse, without soil.  They still had a blight problem at one point (it's in the air, as well as the soil), and Rena says the guy sprays the plants with fungicide every day now.  
I intend to get a soil test on both plots and add whatever is needed.   
I think I've found the reason why squash bugs always got my zucchini:  The straw I put up against the base of the plants to keep weeds down and conserve moisture (as if THAT were needed this year) was providing a cozy home for the little pests.  I did not put straw around the zucchini I planted in July, and it's still going strong, although I did see squash bugs and their eggs a couple of times, early on; I removed the parts of the leaves with eggs on them, and sprayed for the bugs.  Next year I will plant zucchini with hope in my heart.  
I planted Top Crop green beans this year, my mom's favorite variety.  I think Blue Lake might produce better, so that's my choice for 2011.  I'll stick with the Bodacious sweet corn.  My mom's favorite was Iochief, but sweet corn has been greatly improved since her day.  It was a winner in 1951; we've come a long way, baby.  
I want to find sweet peppers with a thicker wall, so I'll do some research on that before we visit Colonial Nursery.  
At long last, I managed to get a basil plant to grow from seed.  One plant.  Nobody would need more, though; it grew into quite a bush.  The flavor of fresh basil is much better than the dried stuff I've always used.  The only other herb in my garden was a single parsley plant, but something caused it to die; I suspect my dog might have wandered through and decided to dig in that spot, probably searching for the mole that's now wreaking havoc with my beet seedlings.  
Cliff would like to move the whole garden, not just the blighty things; but the strawberries are part of the old garden, so I figure we may as well continue to use the rest of the space for some vegetables.    
In many ways this wasn't a good garden year:  tomato and potato blight, made worse by excessive rain; onions that insist on rotting before they're ready to harvest; squash bugs as usual.  And yet, look at all the food we've gotten in this "bad garden year".  Even the rotting onions yielded a couple of gallon freezer bags full of diced onions for use in cooking.  
So I look forward to the garden of 2011, hoping I'm still as enthusiastic about it as I am right now, and hoping I'll still be around.

1 comment:

Lindie said...

I have a big basil plant too. I pick a big branch and leave it in a glass of water on my counter and it keeps great while I am using it. It even grows roots so i will olant one in the house when the frost comes. the rest i make into pesto to use on various things this winter. It keeps a really long time in the refrigerator.