As the new year begins I can’t help but sit and think about the gardening lessons I’ve learned from 2015. Gardening is a lot of trial and error and no one wants to continue repeating the errors. Overall 2015 was a good gardening year for me, but hopefully 2016 will be even better.
Here are a few lessons I’ve learned and things I hope to do in 2016:
- Be more flexible growing things out of season. Peas are normally planted late winter here for zone 8B but this year I planted them in the fall, and I sure am glad. I have gotten lots of peas thanks to the abnormally warm winter and with no hard freeze in the forecast I hope to get even more. A friend of mine planted green beans, now that is brave, not sure that move will pay off. But she got the seeds on sale and was willing to take the gamble. Maybe I won’t go that far, but I definitely want to push the boundaries as far as planting times go. The weather has gotten crazy and I think a lot of the old ideas of what to plant when are changing.
- Start more seeds in seed trays rather then in the garden. This is the first year I have started my fall veggies in seed trays rather then in the garden and I have had much better results. You can control temperature and moisture in seed trays, whereas mother nature may or may not cooperate out in the garden. Of course, some veggies do not do well being transplanted so that needs to be taken into consideration.
- Allow seedlings to get bigger before setting them out into the garden. In the past, I have planted my seedlings directly from my starter trays into the garden. But another friend of mine takes his seedlings and up pots them into SOLO cups, then transplants them out into the garden. This takes space but I think that having larger starting plants will result in higher success rates.
- Strive to never have open garden space. I am on a mission to grow all my own produce and the way to do this is to continually be growing things. Succession planting is the key to this. I hope to get better at this.
- Keep a gardening journal. I have been very negligent in this respect but I hope to do better this year. As I mentioned earlier, I want to improve my succession planting and keeping a journal will help this a lot.
Gardening is a challenge and sometimes I wonder if it’s worth the trouble. Like when I had to replant my back garden three times because the rabbits kept eating it. But then I bring in the harvest and it makes all that hard work worth it.
Not only is the harvest rewarding but equally as important to me is that I know my veggies are grown organically and are non GMO.
I’d love to hear if there are any lessons you’ve learned, or things you tried that worked for you.
Here’s to hoping that gardening in 2016 will be even better then 2015. Happy New Year!