Last modified on September 20th, 2018 at 11:29 PM

Garden Wrap-Up: 2018

This year, I built my dream garden. That may sound like an exaggeration, but it’s really not. We have lived in our house for 4 years and every single summer until now I have gardened experimentally. I wanted to find the perfect spot and the perfect method for our land.

Garden Wrap-Up: What Worked

We ended up building 4x8ft garden beds, you can read more about how we made those in this post. It was a huge task building and filling  25 garden beds, a raspberry patch, and a pumpkin patch but it was so worth it!! I have NEVER had my garden do so well and I really think it was all in the preparation.

I started by purchasing quality topsoil {exact pricing and details in the garden box post} and then installing drip line throughout the entire garden. I also purchased seeds for everything I grew except for the strawberries, raspberries, and peppers. I did attempt peppers, but it turned into a learning experience. 🙂 Even still, my pepper plants performed astronomically better than they have in the past.

While the garden boxes, soil, and drip line were expensive, I think it was a good investment. All of those elements should last in the garden for a very long time. The dripline, in particular, was helpful for eliminating disease among my tomatoes and peppers. They really love to be dry and the dripline ensures that they will be. I also had it set on a timer and the consistent watering was another key to my success.

Another thing I did that really helped my plants perform was I hardened off the seedlings for a substantial amount of time. This resulted in little to no transplant shock and gave them a good boost at the beginning of the season.

I also fertilized ever 15 days for the first 60 days of the gardening season and then once a month afterward depending on the plant. This resulted in healthy and robust plants that were resistant to disease and pests!

Garden Wrap-Up: What I’d Change

One of the biggest issues I had was in my squash and pumpkin patch. Well, and my chickens. I have a few chickens that became escape artists over the summer and no matter what I did, I couldn’t keep them in their fence. While this was annoying because they peck every single thing only one time, and destroyed some pepper plants, I do think it helped manage the grasshoppers and squash bugs.

View over garden squash patch.

While I didn’t have any squash bugs, I did end up getting powdery mildew on a few plants towards the end of the season. This is something I’ll have to look into more for next year, as my solutions didn’t work very well.

Another issue I ran into was watering evenly. We set up the entire garden on the same drip line, knowing that we might need to adjust it. For next year I think this definitely needs to happen. The squash and pumpkins and cucumbers were always a little dry and the tomatoes always a little too wet.

While the amount of water seemed to be just right for the peppers, I need some shade cloth for them next year. Every time a pepper was facing the sun without leave coverage it would get a sunspot. Luckily both of these issues are an easy fix for next year!

I did also experiment with deep potato bins. While this didn’t work as well as I’d hoped, I think most of my mistakes were user error and I can make adjustments to have a more successful crop for next year! Is it too early to buy seeds??? Ha!

All in all, I am very happy with how the garden turned out! The CSA went well and I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about it, and requests for next year! The bees were also a huge fan of the garden, they couldn’t stay away from all the blossoms. We harvest honey tomorrow, so more fruits of our and the bees labor.

Happy gardening, friends!

Garden Wrap-Up 2018: Other Posts that Might be Helpful

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