Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

Every now and then it is good to write about what does not work out in the garden. So this is an entry about what is NOT ... not about what IS.

How is it that I have ended up with nothing in my garden this fall? Was it my foolish affair with 33 tomato plants? Was it my THINKING that I was putting in Butternut squash but it turned out to be summer squash? (In the end I had fresh zucchini into October) Was it my decision NOT to plant sweet potatoes this year?

And what about what I did plant? I have Swiss chard that will not grow (why IS that?) And THE saddest looking Brussels sprouts on the entire planet. About the only thing that produces is some not very energetic kale.

Perhaps it was simple lack of planning. Or maybe it was laziness. I COULD have cleaned out that bed of green beans and started some rutabaga.

So I have been out searching answers to my failed crops. Let's start with the Swiss Chard. I planted it late in the fall and I bought plants from a local garden center. I think next year I will plant in spring and sow directly in the ground. I will try a variety like Fordhook Giant. I will also sweeten up the soil with a little lime.

As for the Brussels Sprouts. I made a choice to hand pick the cabbage worms this summer. Now if only I had a good recipe for cabbage worm soup, I would have had a harvest. So next year I will sweeten up the soil with a little lime, I will water more faithfully than I did this season, and I will side dress with a nitrogen fertilizer when they are a foot tall. And I will either cover the crop and or use some Safers garden dust. And I will sacrifice the bottom 6 leaves or so and top off the plant as frost approaches. And in case you do not believe me when I say this is a puny crop.
Here is a pile of sprouts BEFORE cleaning
and on the right is what I yielded AFTER cleaning

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