Let's turn this garden up to eleven!
January 5, 2014 8:35 AM Subscribe
Last year, we finally were able to plant a vegetable garden. I think we were pretty successful, but it was all very haphazard and I want to improve our game this year. I'm looking for some quality resources and general tips and tricks to get more out of our space.
posted by backseatpilot to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
We have a few raised beds and some pots in our back yard, and we grew a variety of vegetables and herbs last year. For the most part we were happy just to have anything grow (compared to previous years at our last residence), and so we simply kept the garden watered, weeded when it looked bad, and picked the fruit. Yields were good but not great for most things, but some of our veggies didn't produce at all (the winter squash and zucchini gave us nothing).
I'd like to find some resources (books, online, whatever) that can help us improve our game a bit. Maybe even in-person classes if you know of any in the Boston area. Basically, I want to plant a bunch of stuff this spring and end up with more veggies than we know what to do with.
What we planted last year (if you know of any specific tricks for these):
-Cherry tomatoes (starters); we got a ton and were very happy with them. However, we don't know how to prune them and they went a little wild.
-Roma tomatoes (starters); suffered from blight which the garden shop helped us solve. Only got about three or four pounds from half a dozen plants.
-Bush beans (seed); so many beans. So. Many. Beans. Way more beans than I was expecting. I want more of this, but for everything.
-Carrots (seed); they grew well from the top but the fruit was pretty small.
-Kale (seed); grew well but aphids or spiders or something started laying eggs on the undersides of the leaves so we didn't eat them because it was a huge pain to wash the eggs off.
-Eggplant (starters); got exactly two fruit from half a dozen plants. Most of them got shaded out by other plants, so I'm not surprised they didn't produce.
-Pickling cukes (seed); the vines grew nicely but we didn't get nearly as much fruit as I was hoping for. Most of the flowers fell off without producing, and then the vines turned woody and brown later in the season.
-Lemon cukes (seed); kind of the same thing happened as with the other cucumbers.
-Winter squash (seed); plants grew about a foot high and then gave up.
-Zucchini (seed); the plants grew really well, produced a ton of flowers... and then nothing.
-Cheyenne pepper (starters); did not grow very much fruit, and the plants didn't grow very tall so most of the fruit that did grow sat in the dirt and rotted quickly.
-Banana peppers (starters); these grew super well. The plants fell over because they got a lot taller than I expected and had no support.
-Arugula (seed); grew like a weed until it got hot and it all died.
-Head lettuce (seed); this was some weird heat-hardy variety that had a thick central stalk that grew really tall. Wilted pretty quickly, though, so we didn't eat most of it.
-A variety of herbs that all seemed to go bad pretty quickly. Our basil in particular always seems to look gorgeous in the spring but then turns woody and gross by mid-summer.