Experimenting in Gardening

My first year of gardening, was basically a success. I wished I took time to take pictures and write down what was a successful practice versus what I should have done differently. 2016 was a great year for weather in Central Texas. We had enough rain, the temperature stayed decent, and I had virgin soil.

In my 2016 garden, I had 9 tomato plants, cucumber plants, green beans, jalapeno pepper, bell peppers, cantaloupe, and a watermelon. I started half of them from seeds, but my wife bought the tomatoes, watermelon and the cantaloupe. Besides the peppers, everything took off. The tomatoes produced all summer, until later in August when the garden got flooded by a rain system that blew through. We gave so many away and froze many more. We had to just allow some fall to the ground because didn’t have enough room or enough people we knew to take them. The plants grew about 6 feet tall and produced dozens of slicing tomatoes and hundreds of cherry tomatoes.

We got 8-10 good sized sweet cantaloupe to eat, but lost 6 more melons to that rain. We had 3 watermelons that grew, but never turned the lighter green. I found out a little late when one of them rotted on the vine. That is when I knew the other 2 melons had to be pulled. Just in time too because they were the best melons I ever had. We learned that pay attention more to the harvest days than to the color of the fruit, because sometimes they will not get the color but will be ripe.

Our green beans produced through June, until we went on vacation for July 4th. They produced really well and picked every 3-4 days. The cucumbers were awesome. We couldn’t pick them fast enough. They finally turned tart sometime late July, but definitely got plenty of fresh ones for salads.

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2 thoughts on “Experimenting in Gardening”

  1. Record keeping is a vital step in improvement. Start a journal. Doesn’t have to be fancy or artistic. Just record your thoughts, observations, successes, failures, dreams. Even just a line or two a day can make a big difference when you read it mid-winter and plan the next garden. I take my new calendar and jot down notes…”SHould have begun spraying deer repellent as soon as tulips emerged.” on the page for February. “Plant carrots more often.” “Put out containers to catch squash bugs earlier.” etc. etc. It can make a tremendous step forward toward success.

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  2. Thank you for your insight. I am planning on using the blog as more as my journal this year, and years to come. This is all a working experiment and looking to be able to have a bigger garden in years to come. I have already tripled the size of the garden for this year. I will be posting progress as I can.

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