Updated: Dec 2, 2019
I've been meaning to write this post for a while and share with you guys how my garden went this spring and summer. But to be honest, I've been putting it off, because most of it is about how amazingly I grew . . . weeds. I grew a lot of weeds. Big, tall, beautiful weeds. With that out of the way, let's get right to the takeaways:
What Didn't Work
Let's just get this stuff out of the way.
Having the garden far away from the house, while at the same time having a newborn. Yeah, I just didn't get around to gardening (especially regular weeding) nearly as much as I wanted to or should have done.
Having the garden far away from the house, while not having a water source near it. Y'all, this was bad. Lugging water jugs down there was a pain and not something I could do without my husband's help. And did I mention I had a newborn? Oh, and we had an incredibly frustrating drought. All of this combined led to the smallest peppers you've ever seen.
Growing certain plants without researching much about them. Some plants didn't need any prior knowledge. Some really did. For example, I grew big, beautiful cabbages . . . but they molded because of excess water before I could harvest them. Ugh.
Not tilling the flower beds soon enough. I made a small Mary Garden this year, and this was my downfall. Lots of pesky Bermuda grass still managed to get in, and that stuff is very hard to stay on top of. Also, I think I'll just stick with big, hardy perennials next time. It really never looked right with the Zinnias I chose.
What Did Work
I'm not even sure my brown thumb can take credit for any of these things, but here they are.
Having a friend that's a garden guru. Well, multiple actually. It was really nice to have people to call when you notice your first end rot or you totally forgot what that bush was supposed to be. What was even nicer was two different people starting plants indoors from seeds for me since I had a newborn. That really saved our garden, and made things so much easier for a newbie like me. If you want to start a garden for the first time, I highly recommend driving on down to your local co-op, selecting some plants that were started indoors, planting them & watching them (and your confidence) grow, and try starting from seed the next year.
My flowers did wonderfully. And they were pretty, too. Too bad I don't know how to eat marigold.
My yukon gold potatoes could not be stopped. They were the real MVPs of the garden. They weren't talked up as some indestructible plant like peppers, and in reality they outdid my peppers by a lot. I'm sure it was the timing of planting combined with the timing of the drought (that really hurt my peppers), but it sure was fun digging in that dirt!
My dill grew like . . . things that grow really fast. In fact, it outpaced me so much, I wasted a lot of it. I didn't realize how little we use dill, and I had about eight strong bushes of it (while all my basil died, but we won't talk about that.) So I need to either have a game plan to use everything in case it all grows (something I really wasn't expecting) or only grow things I'll know I can use. But hey, I had that one really good potato salad!
Surprise compost tomatoes. All of my tomatoes did relatively well, and survived the drought and some end rot, but of course the ones that did the best were some I didn't plant. (At least I think I didn't?) They sprouted up by/on/through the compost pile, and I know that sounds gross, but y'all, they were the best tomatoes ever! Thank you mystery heirloom tomato seeds leftover from last year that we didn't know were there when we started the compost pile!
My weeds did really well. They grew so tall and strong. <3
Alright, that's how my garden did this year. I would love hearing how yours went in the comments. If you liked this post, you should read about how raising meat chickens went.