I have failed miserably in regularly posting pictures of my garden, and since it's dark at the moment, this task will wait another day. Those raised beds I constructed early on have done everything I've wanted them to do and I'm very happy with them. I thought I'd make some notes here about how things are and what to remember for next year.
I didn't water quite enough. I had the timer on to water every other day for 15 minutes through soaker hoses. While everything looks fine, the soil is now like concrete, and my tomatoes I think are smaller for it. I doubled the time a couple of weeks ago and we'll see if that makes a difference. Sometimes we get a light frost in September, I'd bet we don't this year. But you never know.
It was a so-so year for tomatoes. I've gotten lots of grape tomatoes, which I've eaten mostly while I've picked them, but have cooked a little with them as well. My fancy heirloom tomato has been all talk and no action, with two so-so tomatoes and now lots of green ones still. Unless there is a big convergence of ripening, I'll have to mark this season's tomatoes with a C-.
Zucchini takes up a lot of room. I'm OK with it spilling over the sides of the raised bed, but it crowded out the herbs I planted, as well as the peppers. It's done very well, though, and I'll plant it again. I won't plant the little round light green ones again, though. They're cute, but I didn't do much with them.
This underscores a problem I have. No A/C, and thus my oven rarely gets turned on in the summer. I need to adapt more recipes to my toaster oven, which touts itself as a convection oven as well.
Plant more lettuce. I bought lettuce starts in the spring, at $2 a plant, and thought I was being ripped off. Then I had lots of salads in a short amount of time, and thought it was money well spent. I will plant 6 plants next year instead of 3.
Plant bigger carrots. I planted these little petite ones that aren't worth the real estate. They don't taste very good either. My peas limped along and I'll start those sooner. I planted some the other day and maybe I'll get some fall peas, although a squirrel nipped off one plant entirely.
I'm happy I splurged and bought a tumble composter. It's actually doing its thing relatively quickly, and I'd like to make a bunch of compost to add to the raised beds and the other garden next year.
Plant more melons. I have one intrepid cantaloupe that started late and may or may not ripen by the first frost. I love cantaloupe, and so does Mr W, so we'll devote more space to those next year. I had wanted them to climb the trellis I put up, and should probably get a bigger trellis for that. Or, I guess I can just let them run out of the box as well.
More thoughts in the next post. And some pictures, too.