Monday, January 24, 2011

Garden Recap

(I just noticed this post was deleted, so I'm reposting it, sorry if you got it again!)

While facing below zero temps today, let’s reflect on and look forward to warm temperatures and sunshine! (BTW, this is a modified repost from the first blog I started and abandoned.)

In the summer of 2010 I decided to go out on a limb and start a garden. Living in a small apartment with an even smaller porch this required a little help from the lovely folks at Capitol District Community Gardens. For $20 and a little work, I was granted a 15'' x 15'' plot in the Rensselaer Family Garden. It's located in a quiet residential neighborhood with about 14 garden plots. It's a nice and small community of gardeners ranging from young inexperienced gardeners (like me) to retired couples with time and experience to share.

The pictures are taken just about a month apart from May 12 - August 7th. Over Memorial Day weekend and beyond I planted peppers (bell, Italian, pablano), tomatoes, eggplant, lettuce, basil, cilantro, spaghetti squash, patty pan squash, sunflowers, gladiolas, and marigolds. It was an amazing learning experience and I've loved almost every minute of it! Even better, the rewards were tasty!

It was a great year for peppers and they are one of my favorite things to eat. They were still blooming and fruiting when I tore them up in November. Eggplants were slow to start and then really took off in the hot weather of July. My squashes died from powdery mildew from summer humidity; I did my best to treat it but with everyone in the garden having it, there was little I could do. But randomly a zucchini popped up and gave me a few squashes so it wasn’t a total loss on the squash front. The herbs (cilantro and basil) were amazing. There is nothing like picking fresh herbs and running home to add them to your dinner. Tomatoes were abundant as well, I gave plenty away and make a few batches of tomato sauce that would make an Italian grandmother proud.

So for 2011, what’s the plan? Garden sign ups start next week so first things first, I’ll have to sign up for a plot again. I’m not sure if I can switch plots yet, but I’d one closer to the water source and one that gets a bit more sun. I want to plant some things that I can harvest early so I want to look into planting some peas, lettuce, etc that will be ready early, aka more instant satisfaction. I want to plant sauce tomatoes (plum or roma) so I can make even better tomato sauce. I’ll look into canning as well so I can enjoy it all year long. I can probably get away with planting fewer pepper plants, 20+ is probably a bit much for one person. I want to be better about staggering my herb plantings, every two-three weeks should be good and keep me from getting overwhelmed with herbs and then left with nothing. Otherwise it will just be fun to get back out there. It got to be a little much last October and November, but hey, a garden that just won’t quit is a great problem to have.

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