My first garden season is over and it was a amazing. I learned so many things for next year. I have already taken notes and started planning for next year. Overall, I think I did pretty well with my production this year and I hope to get better every year.
I went into this year with a positive attitude and figured anything I grew was a success. I had some disappointments with a few of my garden choices, but some of them really surprised me.
For starters, I didn’t realize how many cherry tomatoes one plant would produce. I had about 6 cherry and grape tomato plants and only 2 full size tomato plants. For some reason, I though that since the cherry tomatoes where smaller, I needed more plants. Oh was I wrong! I had so many, I didn’t know what to do with them. I dried them, I roasted some, made chicken kabobs for dinner and even canned some. I found this recipe for cherry tomato and corn salsa. I was able to get about 7 pint jars with this recipe.
I was also pleasantly surprised that I was able to actually grown sunflowers. These are my favorite flower and I am ecstatic that I was able to grow any at all. Next year I am going to change the location and probably plant a different variety. I planted in the front of my home, but there wasn’t enough sunlight for them to flourish. However, I was able to grow a few and even picked my own bouquet today!
Another flower that I grew in my main garden area were marigolds. I will be honest I planted these because they are supposed to help with repelling mosquitoes. I didn’t realize I would enjoy them so much. I planted a whole row of seeds, but only have of them actually grew. The ones that did grow were huge and beautiful. It seemed to take forever, but when they finally bloomed they were amazing. I was so impressed with the amount of flowers that actually grew. From doing more research marigolds, I learned that you can use marigolds in a lot of home remedies to help with sunburns, varicose veins, and even a fever reducer. A Youtube Channel I watch Off Grid With Doug and Stacy recently uploaded a video with a recipe that she used marigolds in.
I could go on forever, but I will only tell you about one more thing I found exciting in my garden, just today. I was extremely sad because my broccoli was eaten by caterpillars (cabbage worms). I talk a little about it in my end of season garden video.
It ate all of my broccoli plants, but when I just went to the garden I noticed that a few of my plants were starting to grow leaves again! So, I may still be able to get some. Broccoli can be planted for fall production, you just need to plant it 85-100 days before the first frost (which I did). Apparently, broccoli thrives in cool weather! I will keep you posted on that. Fingers crossed, I actually can harvest some.
I am so happy with the food I was able to produce and I have learned so much in this first year. Stay tuned for some videos and blogs about what I am doing with my garden harvest.