Learning from Last Year
The last few weeks have been a little unpleasant where the weather is concerned. It’s nothing us hardened Canadians can’t handle but I’m glad Wiarton Willie saw his shadow on Monday. The 2015 gardening season can’t come fast enough.
With that in mind, it’s time to start thinking about your vegetable garden. I know that the May long weekend seems far off…and it sort of is…but if you want to order seeds online and start them yourself indoors, you need to start planning now.
Where to Start
If you grew a vegetable garden last year, ask yourself these questions:
1. What grew well and what didn’t?
2. Of the vegetables that you grew, what did you actually eat?
3. Did you plant too many of something (cucumber, zucchini, I’m looking at you)?
4. Did any of your plants succumb to insects or disease?
From those questions, it should be easy to figure out what to grow this year.
1. This may seem obvious but if something didn’t grow well, I suggest you either play detective and figure out why or you switch it up: grow something else. You may choose a different variety of the same vegetable or go with a completely new type of vegetable.
2. If you found that 50% of your veggie garden was thrown into the composter at the end of the season, evaluate why that was. Did you simply not like what you grew? Did it spoil before you could get to it (for some vegetables, that might mean bolting).
3. If you wound up with an abundance of vegetables you couldn’t seem to give to friends or co-workers, decide if you should grow that many plants again this year or if, maybe, that space could be used for something else. Your other option (and it’s a great one) is to donate that food to a local food bank. Plant a Row Grow a Row can help you get connected.
4. It’s disappointing when plants don’t make it through the season. For those plants that ended up dying before producing, look into a resistant variety that you can put in its place. For insects, research methods for keeping them at bay. Perhaps it was your watering technique: wetting the leaves too often, allowing disease to grow and spread easily; or perhaps you missed a Bordo spraying.
For those of you who didn’t grow a veggie garden last year, come back next week and I’ll give you some tips to get started.