Thursday, July 01, 2010

Lessons from 2010 Garden

Here's what we've learned this year:

1. Marigolds deter aphids, other pests and even some good ones like ladybugs. They also bring in japanese beetles. Japanese beetles will destroy a garden especially the fruit trees and bushes.

2. Eggplants need to be support with tomato cages around their base. Circular ones will do just fine.

3. All pepper plants needs either a circular tomato cage or one that you can open and wind between plants. Pepper plants that are supported will produce more peppers. The plant can focus on production instead of standing up right. I had 2 plants that were on the fringe of the winding cage and the wind knocked them right over. Now they only have 5 peppers compared to the 20 the other ones have.

4. Beefsteak tomatoes are not worth the money. These tomatoes grow in two's. So 2 tomatoes will attach to the vine at the same place. As of 7/1 I have gotten NO tomatoes off the vine. For each pair of tomatoes it seemed like 1 of the 2 would go bad thus making them both go bad. Big Boys which is what I normally use produce single tomatoes. Also Beefsteak only seem to have 6 growing on the plant at once where as Big Boy has at least 12. End result- go back to Big Boy.

5. Growing from seeds. It seems that all veggies I grew from seeds needed to be thinned out except lettuce and spinach. Okra, sugar snap peas, carrots, cuccumbers, and radishes. If you don't thin them out there's no room for expansion. Carrots and radishes can't expand out they become thin as lead. Cuccumbers won't grow upward.

6. I cannot grow cauliflower. Each time the plant gets hit with worms. Yes I spray but covering up the cauliflower head allows worms to hide and dodge the spray. Next time double the broccoli and forget the cauliflower.

7. Rapsberry patches need to have walkways. We had over 80 plants growing in 1 place. The patch was soooo big the center plants had no opportunity to get sun thus did not produce raspberries. The raspberries grew on the plants on the outside of the patch only. Great to have lots of plants but without sun and breathing room plants on the inside are worthless. We'll cut a path through the center to give all plants a chance to produce. Who am I kidding last year we started with 2 plants and now have over 80. Go figure right?!?

8. Blueberry plants need food and water. Some growers say that they don't need to water their plants. Last year we lost 2 because we did not have a regular watering schedule. This year we fed the plants in the spring and have watered everyday. Our production has quadrupled from last year. Unbelievable the difference and that's with 2 less plants.

9. Blackberries need a watering schedule. Like blueberries growers have said that not much watering is needed. Not true. I've seen blackberries dry up on the vine from lack of water. Also - one plant I pruned and the other I didn't. We had read you don't need to prune the 1st year planted. Again not true for us. The plant I pruned produced twice as much as the one that didn't.

That's all for now. If I think of more I'll start a new post.

No comments: