Good Gardening: End Of The Season

Oct 3, 2017

I spent some time on a recent sunny afternoon, looking back on a long and fruitful life wondering what I would change if I could do it all over again.

End of summer tomatoes.
Credit John Fischer

The life of my summer garden is almost done, but examining its good and bad points should help me with next years iteration- or not.

For the 45th consecutive year, I planted my tomatoes too close together. Maybe 46 will be the year of change for me.

My watering schedule was not sufficient for this warm dry summer. As we grow our gardens in a climate becoming more like California's, I will need to adapt.Maybe you already have.

Next year, I'll start to water earlier, mulch more thoroughly, and monitor soil moisture more carefully.

I have to monitor my vegetable starts a little better too. Somehow, the sweet meat squash were actually spaghetti squash. The harvest volume was great- but not the harvest variety.

More beets and carrots would have gotten used. Did not need so many hot peppers.

Of course your garden is greatly affected by things beyond your control- weather, smoke, weddings.

One way to adjust for the unadjustable is to plant more. Most gardeners I know put in the same number of tomatoes as usual, but had twice the normal crop. Meanwhile, lettuce plantings shriveled in the hot sun, or failed to sprout at all.

Make a list now, and put it in your seed box for next spring.

I planted more flowers than usual -- the wedding-- and liked them even though they are not edible.

Next year, more multi-headed sunflowers, and more zinnias.

And I will not plant them too close together.

I'm John Fischer with KLCC's Good Gardening