Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Garden prep for next year.

Every year I make plans in order to get the most from my garden.  This years endeavor is raised beds.  I am not going to put a frame around them ....yet.  First I want to see how they work.  Right now I have converted enough garden for 4 raised beds.  I am hopeful with the raised bed gardening, I can keep the soil premium without a premium price.  I need to still go to the hardware store and get some manure to put in each bed as well as lime.  I have figured this small investment will hopefully pay off big time.  This year I threw away more tomatoes than I canned.  Mainly due to pests and or drought.  No rain would fall for a spell and then lots of rain which then split my tomatoes.  I did get some Roma, but the slicing tomatoes were thrown out.  Broke my heart.  Fortunately the year before was a good year and I put up lots of sauce so I am good for the winter, but I will need a good harvest this next harvest.  Other things I am planning are flowers; mainly marigolds to help with pollination as well as pest control.  Marigolds interplanted with beans or tomatoes are beneficial to them.  Things I should have done, but didn't for whatever reason are.... spraying my fruit trees for fungus or pests, adequate fertilizer for everyone, adequate watering, weeding, etc.  These are all things I try to do, but get behind especially when I am canning so much.  I feel like I didn't can too much this year.  I did freeze a lot of squash, but I wish I had more to put on my shelves.  However I am grateful for what I did get.  I am pleased in the fact that I tried my hand at canning corn this year and was successful.  I tried canning green tomatoes for frying.  The jury is still out on that one in that I haven't opened a jar yet to see how they did.  I will let ya know when I do.  Successes this year were blueberries, peppers, squash, watermelon, lima beans, and roma (I just didn't plant enough of them).  Corn was average, as were green beans.  Loses were, sunflowers, cabbage, snow peas, cauliflower, peaches, and beets.  Navy beans did very well, but like a dope I didn't dry them adequately and so I just had to throw out 5 lbs of them.  Grrrr.  I did can up some of them at harvest, so not a total loss.  I think next year I am just going to can all of them.  That way I make sure they are safe.  It is also easier to open a jar of navy beans and just heat them through rather than soak and cook for a long while before you can eat them.  So anyway, this is what I do each fall and hopefully each spring my evaluation will pay off. Doesn't everyone do this?  (smile)

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