Saturday, February 7, 2009

2008 Year in Review

When planning for the next year's garden, it is always important to look back on the past and the successes and failures that came before to decide on the perfect plan for next year. So, looking back on 2008, we will go over the good, the bad, and the changes that need to take place for a successful 2009 gardening season!

2008 Highlights (things that still stand out several months after leaving the garden):
- LOVE the new raised bed garden
- tomato varieties were awesome, with intensive pruning grew to 10 feet!
- haricot verts were fabulous
- warm colored flowers are very eye pleasing and great to mix in amongst the edibles
- great out-of-the ordinary varieties

2008 best:
Flowers/ornamentals- violas, snapdragons, zinnias, Chilly Chili peppers
Vegetables- haricot verts, Brandywine tomatoes, artichoke
Herbs- rosemary, basil and dill

2008 worst:
Flowers- cosmos (space-consuming for 2 week bloom)
Vegetables- Zucchini bush (took over a whole bed), onions were a little disappointing, romaine lettuce was too soft
Herbs- I don't know, I hardly used any!
Of course the hail storm the day after I transplanted didn't help

Changes for 2009:
- I miss my cukes (never got any last year due to REALLY SLOW germination outdoors)
- more green beans!
- plant green beans every 3 weeks instead of all at once- really!
- successive plantings of lettuce as well- can't eat it all at once!
- attempt to harvest leeks earlier than November! ;)
- more violas, snaps, and zinnias!
- lost a lot of tomatoes to bacterial speck last year, so start early with the Dragon Dust!
- No HUGE plants (that's you Zukes and Cosmos!)
- there's no point in growing so much of the crops that I can't give away
- one eggplant will suffice
- herbs will be planted in a pot in small quantities rather than scattered through the precious garden space

New varities for 2009:
Tomatoes- Cherokee Purple, Kellogg's Breakfast, Todd County Amish, Giant Syrian, Earl's Faux
Other veggies- Edamame (2 varities), Serrano chilies
Flowers- historical colors viola mix, and a few new zinnia varieties

2008 Photo Highlights:

The brand new garden, May 31st, 2008:
After a few weeks of growth, June 21st, 2008:

At the end of the season with a late frost this year, October 1st, 2008:
A few of the individual crops:
Artichoke:
Chilly Chili Hybrid peppers in front, Big Early Bell behind:
Snapdragons:
Ginormous tomatoes!:
A sample harvest from mid-September:
Well 2008 was really a great year with my new garden. It was only my second year growing anything, and the first time using raised beds. I grew an awesome variety of flowers, vegetables, and herbs, and had a lot of fun doing it! I don't have time to share photos and information on every variety from last year, but this year I plan to have a play-by-play on this blog with many more photos, in which I should be able to give each plant its due credit! Here's to a great start in 2009!

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