Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Nearing the end of the growing season

The raised bed garden on Aug. 23, 2014.

The harvest from our raised bed garden is nearing its end. We’re still getting a few cucumbers, but other plants have died, wilted, or been pulled up.
It was a season of adventure and disappointment. We didn’t get the tomatoes we wanted—blight took most of them. And we didn’t get any broccoli—green worms got those plants.
But we got plenty of two types of lettuce, lots of cucumbers, peppers, and onions. We felt the pleasure of working soil. We enjoyed the excitement of watching something grow from seeds—watching that process will never get old.
And we learned a lot.

*Decide early on if you’re going to use pesticides or go organic.
*Don’t plant too much, too close together.
*You will have to thin some plants.
*If you buy plants, buy early and buy the best looking ones you can find.
*Get a good gardening book.

Seedlings in April 2014.

Raised bed garden on May 10, 2014.
The addition of tomatoes on May 19, 2014.
Raised bed garden on June 15, 2014.

This fall, we’ll be working on the soil in the bed. The topsoil that we bought for it was supposed to be great for planting. But we found that it contained a lot of clods of dirt difficult to break up. And the soil got too hard once it dried.
Larry has already worked up one section with materials including peat moss and perlite. We’ll do the rest this fall and add some composting type materials to it, too.
And I plan to learn more about organic gardening and have supplies on hand early next year.

All in all, it’s been a rewarding experience. And like all farmers, we hope for a better crop next year.

If you have a garden, how did yours do this year?


  1. i think you did really GREAT - with the bed design AND first year plantings!

  2. Despite not getting all the crops you hoped for, I'd call your experience, and garden, a success!

  3. Great harvest for the first year! I follow a lot of organic gardening pages on Facebook, and blight has been a problem for the most experienced gardener. I also lost broccoli in my first garden due to worms, though now I know how to head them off at the pass before they destroy the plants.

    I'm still getting tomatoes and can now officially pronounce my tomatillo crop a success. I'm also getting a lot of squash and Swiss chard, and my potato crop was spectacular. Shelling peas did well, too. I've increased my strawberry production enough that I was able to freeze some of my own strawberries. Less successful: beets (don't know why, but they're really developing slowly this year), Brussels sprouts, and kale.

    Apples and pears are going to bring in a good crop this year.

    All this from someone who only started gardening four years ago. I still have a lot to learn, but I'm pretty proud of my efforts...I hope you are, too!

  4. Yes, my squash is finally played out. I think I gave away 100 squash. I even gave huge bags to random people off Craigslist! I have lettuce and beets coming up for the fall. And I still have a lot of tomatoes.

  5. At least there was plenty of lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, and onions. I'd say this raised garden 2014 was an overall success. Next year will be better, and the year after better still. My papaw used to say that gardens were growing/learning processes :)

  6. It looks like you did great, Tina! The animals visiting my yard ate most of the things I planted. Oh well, maybe next year!

  7. My garden was fantastic. there was tremendous growth. Yes after walking over the soil all summer it's like brick. I know that lots of work will bring it back. What you say about gardening is bang on. Watching plants grow and develop is fascinating. learning from mistakes is never ending. Good luck next year.

  8. I had a pretty good year with my tiny garden!! The best producer was eggplant, I got lots and the are super delish!!

  9. Like any good farmer, you learn lessons from the Earth. Congrats on your first season and to plenty more!

  10. I am sorry that all of your planted crops did not succeed, however you have learned well and will be more than prepared when springtime returns and new seeds are planted!! Really sorry about the tomatoes, there is nothing like a fresh tomato from the garden!!

  11. I enjoyed reading about your garden, Tina, and seeing what you learned. You offered some good tips. I don't know if I'll ever do that but it sounds wonderful having fresh produce to eat!

  12. Love your garden! Ours didn't do as well as in previous years, either...must have been all the rain.


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