Gardening Score-card

In some ways this was a great growing season. I have never had such a good crop of corn. In other ways it has been disastrous. My Russian Giant sunflowers took forever to get started and are still not ripe.

Yet there have been pleasant little surprises here and there. Today I started digging carrots. It’s just a miracle any grew. You are supposed to keep the soil moist to get them to sprout but I was watering other things so furiously during a hot, windy drought that they were missed. Somehow, somewhere, they got the idea to grow and I did not even notice. Smothered in weeds and growing in clay so tough the fork would not penetrate were decent half-grown carrots. I guess they jumped at the chance during a rain we had in July. I had given up on them. They were planted in May.

Also, the onions did not do well, but when I was picking them I came upon a little maple tree. I didn’t plant it. It must have ridden in with the fill when we graded. I don’t know what kind of maple it is but most around here are Acer negundo, Manitoba Maple. They are not as sweet as sugar-maples but they will do. It gives me another reason to live ten more years to see that.

Also, most of the junipers died in the drought. I just could not water enough. Must get that in-ground system installed… Still every few feet of the hedge, there is one happy as anything. When the going gets tough the tough get going. Eventually, I will be able to propagate the few proud and brave ones and make a complete hedge.

The weeds did really well as we worked hard renovating the old place. When we move the compost pile from the old place and incorporate it in my garden the soil will be greatly improved. I also will have a greenhouse next spring so the onions, peppers and tomatoes will have a better head-start. I probably will not plant so many beets. More than half are still in the ground and I am tired of pickling. I have about 50L of pickled beets, enough for eating once or twice every day of the year.

The pumpkins produced 14 huge fruits, all sitting on my veranda. I will make a lot of pies this year. I should grow a different variety next year, one that grows faster and is easier to carry. One of the Big Max fruits was so big I had to roll it up a ramp to be able to lift it into the wheel barrow. They barely had time to ripen because the drought slowed them down seriously.

Next year, I should be able to give the garden much more attention because the old place is almost done. There’s just a bit of freight to move and the new owner/occupant can move in. The greenhouse will permit many more seedlings to grow, enough for a perimeter hedge as well as the berms and garden. I have all the material to construct the greenhouse. I only lack motivation as if winter coming were not enough. I expect at least a month of good weather for that project.

The new greenhouse will be a simple square steel frame with a peaked roof and polyethelene covering. I can use it to keep equipment out of the weather, too.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
This entry was posted in horticulture and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Gardening Score-card

  1. ssorbom wrote, “Can you be fully self sufficient if need be with your current set up?”

    I have plenty of land for it, but the little woman objects to anything but corn leaving the garden area. The beets are an outrageous success with 50L of pickles and half the crop still in the ground. I am building an insulated bin to hold them a few months. As a diet I would lack peas and beans. There’s not enough protein in beets but I wouldn’t starve to death. The garden will be much more productive next year but I have never had much success with peas and beans. I suppose I could try a row or two. The deer population is still down and hunting quotas have been reduced. The damned things ate two pumpkins and 20 feet of beets but I cannot shoot them here… It’s meat I lack. Peas and beans are just a stop-gap. I can buy a sack of dried peas for about $7 and beans for about $20 enough to last a year. It’s hardly worth planting them but fresh veggies can be $3/lb here in winter. That reminds me. I should roast a turkey this week whether the little woman agrees or not…

  2. ssorbom says:

    Can you be fully self sufficient if need be with your current set up?

    How much time does an operation like that take?

    Forgive my questions, I’m a suburban kid. 🙂

  3. Whether it’s operating systems of pumpkins, you always seem to be keeping score for some reason. At least with the vegetables the statistical analysis makes sense. When it comes to software, you’re just desperate to “win” at something, even though you made virtually no contribution to the thing you’re so passionate about.

    But I digress. It’s good to see you have interests outside computers and agriculture/horticulture are noble ones.

Leave a Reply