As we descend into the end part of the growing season, it seems a good time to make notes on how things have gone this year.
I picked up a pack of strawberry popcorn at a choiry event, and planted some. It has tried to be enthusiastic, but I’m not sure it has had time to grow the actual corn part before the weather gets too cold. Don’t remember when I planted it, but if we grow corn, growing it earlier would seem to be a good policy. Maybe try starting it indoors even earlier, then it might have a chance to get big enough to grow some beans up them, with the squash around them, like the Three Sisters is supposed to be.
The squash around the corn… I know some squashes grew, but I’m not sure if it was as many as we ought to expect. Harvesting hasn’t really been my thing this year.
I heard today of someone’s corn being plagued by earwigs. I know I’ve seen some earwigs this year, don’t know if they’ve touched the corn or not. Should look into what companion plants might repel earwigs, and plant it around the corn.
Tried adding peas in extra places, to help some plants. Seems to have been a good move. The stuff by the house dried up a bit, but the back fence seems to be a good place.
Mint is doing very well around the fruit trees. Might need to make a note of what we’ve got where, and move the mint we like eating least, to around the trees at the front, and extend the others to various places at the back. Fill in the holes, as it were.
Tomatoes seem to have done very well this year. The seed ones better than the already-started ones. Whatever we did this year, we should do again next year.
One of the three Arctic Kiwi plants has survived – we need to weed around it now. And try to find a bunch of females to plant around the male we have, for next year.
The new raised beds have done very well, probably want to add some more soil to them next year, and the second year should be more productive than the first. The one that ended up being more my thing turned insanely productive: the marshmallow grew above the washing line, a couple of the squashes turned giant, and a load of beans grew. Spotted a couple of echinacea flowers.
Some of the new trees we’ve planted have done better than others. Some died, some seemed to die then tried growing new trunks from lower down. Looking forward to the apple and pear trees that we planted last year, to grow to the point of producing fruit. Hope the new peach trees get enough life in them to grow a bunch of branches, and start producing. Hope the old peach tree hangs on long enough for some overlap.
After a worrying start, the grape plants have taken off. Hope they fill in a bunch of fence, and of course we’re looking forward to them producing, too.
The blackberry plant that we planted where the compost pile used to be, has taken off. We planted it a bit away from the fence, but it grew right to the fence. It has wanted to just continue its limbs through the fence along the ground, we’ve tried to encourage it to row up the fence. Hopefully we’ll get more of an edge in that battle next year. I haven’t spotted any fruit on it yet, not sure if that’s not a first-year thing, or what.
Three of the four raspberry plants that we transplanted from the mountain, have survived. Hopefully they’ll send up new stems next year, as they’re supposed to. Only got a few raspberries off them this year, possibly because of when we transplanted them.
The raised beds we but soil from our garden in, got rather weedy. The ones we just put soil-from-bags in, have done better in that regard.
We put a bed in the front, and planted a whole load of seeds, I don’t think we got much in the way of grown-on-purpose stuff in there at all. There’s one plant I’m pretty sure is comfrey, but that’s about it.
The mushrooms haven’t produced as much volume-wise as I hoped, and I’m just starting to get some mushrooms from a second tub (out of the seven that are out there). Still, to have gotten anything is pretty promising, hopefully can start figuring out some tricks to increase output there.
In summary, I think we’ve had a lot of production this year, which is encouraging, and we have lots of potential for more production in the future, with the perennials and other recurring plants.
We’ve had a lot of drinks with mint or lemon balm from the garden. More herbs will be a good way to go, lots of peas round things was a great move. Something viny and fast-growing up the side of the house, after mulching down there, will be a great step (especially towards keeping the house cool in summer – it hasn’t seemed too hot this year, thankfully). Hops have been suggested, and that’s not a bad idea.
A lot of work done, a lot more to do, but it all seems promising.