Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Spring has finally come to MN, time to get plantin'

My garden from last year as of May 10th, 2014
In Minnesota, spring is a jerk who likes to tease us with warm weather one day and snow the next, so it takes a while to really believe in spring. But looking at the forecast this week I'm feeling hopeful at last. And that means it's time to garden! I had my first (somewhat) successful vegetable garden last summer. When it comes to flowers and houseplants I have a black thumb. I can kill just about anything. I'm nervous for the cactus in my office. But last summer I succumbed to pressure from my children and planted a veggie patch, and lo and behold, I actually ended up with edible veggies! I also learned a lot of good lessons that I hope will improve my garden this coming year. Here are some of the valuable lessons I will bring to my garden this spring...

  1. Don't over-crowd the garden - Last year my eyes were bigger than my patch of dirt and I ended up with more plants than I could squeeze in (although I did try and squeeze!) so I ended up with some plants killing others. I'll be more selective this year, which reminds me...
  2. Don't plant 4 varieties of the same thing - Last year I picked not just too many plants, but too many that looked so similar that I couldn't tell what was what, which lead me to not pick some things when they were full grown, thinking they were something else and would grow bigger. And it made me pretty nervous to cook things like peppers, when I wasn't sure which type and therefore how spicy they'd be. This year I'm going to pick one type of each family of veggie to avoid this issue.
  3. Deer suck and I hate them - Last year deer ate all my beans, peas, and tomatoes, and maybe some other stuff. This year I will be more diligent with the fake coyote urine (ew, I know, but it works) and I will plant all my tomatoes in the puts by the house, since the deer don't come up that far. I will also put up a better fence. Take that, assholes.
  4. Repeat successes, ditch utter failures- If I'm going to plant things again, I might as well plant things that worked out last year. The biggest wins were the patty pan squash, cucumbers (only one variety this time though!), and habanero peppers. Bok choi and broccoli did well enough to try again, and beans or peas I'd do again if I get a better fence and put them on the other side of the plot. Onions, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and pumpkins are right out.
Well, now I'm all excited about plants and veggies and being outside. I'll try to keep you up to date on my progress. If you have any easy gardening tips for me share them in the comments (but keep in mind, I'm not actually very good at this, nor do I have a ton of time to devote to it beyond planting, occasional weeding and watering and hoping for the best). Happy Spring!

4 comments:

  1. Cucumbers are always plentiful, but I didn't have much success with the spaghetti squash as it began to get too hot for them to grow properly. Good luck with the garden, it's very rewarding, isn't it?

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  2. I can recommend liquid fence deer and rabbit repellant, it's nontoxic and really works! But you have to reapply it if it rains, or else the deer will eat your stuff that night.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can recommend liquid fence deer and rabbit repellant, it's nontoxic and really works! But you have to reapply it if it rains, or else the deer will eat your stuff that night.

    ReplyDelete