2013 Garden Overview - What Did Well, What Went Wrong, & Things To Change

We've gradually increased the size of our garden every year since we've lived here.  Next year won't be different.  We've also gradually dealt with a variety of issues every year. 

This year we moved all the veggies around and the places I'd carefully selected for them, apparently, were not well liked.  This year we had the smallest crops we've ever had.  It was still successful, but not nearly as profitable.  Next year they will be moved again and, fingers crossed, they'll like their home.

Wild critters were the big pain of 2013.  Although squash bugs had been the biggest issues the previous 2 years, this year was the year of the woodchuck.  As you may recall, my carrots were mowed down so far I couldn't tell where they had been planted.  My lettuce disappeared the moment it grew tall enough to be recognizable as did kohlrabi, broccoli and cabbage.  And thankfully we grow lots of tomatoes - enough to share with the woodchucks, chipmunks, birds and squirrels and still have some left for ourselves, canning and freezing.

Melons have never done very well in my garden.  The primary reason is we don't get enough sun where it's plotted.  That, however, will no longer be a concern since J took down a dozen trees this Fall.  My corn was destroyed, for the most part, in the Spring due to a huge storm with torrential wind and rain that pounded the waist-high stalks right down to the ground.  Bummer.

Everything else, however, did very well and my garden shed is the perfect place to plan, store, and work on any garden plans.   So happy J built it.

My garden is planted as raised beds since our ground is nothing but rocks.  You can read my post about raised bed gardening {here}.  We originally had soil delivered to fill the beds but have added compost every year, gradually increasing the nutrients.  We also let the Coop Girls work the garden in the Spring and Summer, leaving their droppings to fertilize the soil.  Between the chickens and the compost pile, we throw very little food away.

In another month I can sit down with all the seed catalogs that arrive in my mailbox and dream.  I always start out with a HUGE list of things I want to add.  Then, reality hits, and I narrow it down to what will actually {and realistically} fit in my garden.

Next year we plan to continue with beets, carrots, green beans, sugar snaps, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, cucumber, kohlrabi, onions, peppers, eggplant, corn, melons, summer squash, winter squash, and herbs.  We plan to add cucamelons, loofah, and possibly fava beans. 

My asparagus bed continues to grow, and the rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and elderberries will hopefully grow by leaps and bounds too.  If I can keep Emerson out of the blueberries.....

How about your garden?  What will you do the same and what things different?

Sharing at the Maple Hill Hop!


daisy g said...

I have pinned so many of your pictures, I should probably be paying you royalties! Just love your style.
Your garden seems very successful and I wish you the best in the coming season. We are still growing here and hope to continue right on through winter.
I may have some loofa seeds if you would like some.
Enjoy your day!

Unknown said...

Our garden year was a bust too, but thankfully there's always next year!

Unknown said...

I love all of your plans!! The garden shed is adorable and so pratical! I hope we'll be able to have something like that one day! Currently I'm working on what we grew this year, what worked, and what different. We grew a lot of the same things from year to year, but I'd like to add a few new things...asparagus being one of them! Good luck with your garden next year!

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Aw, thanks Daisy! Sue - so true!! Mary, thank you. You must add asparagus - it's just soooooo delicious!!

Anonymous said...

We are so excited to start our garden adventures this year! thank you for the beautiful warm feeling photos during this frigid week!

Our Neck of the Woods said...

Your garden shed is beautiful! I just love it! For me, I've learned gardening is very much trial and error. We've been increasing our garden space each year like you guys and just trying to figure out where things do well. Such a learning process!