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Take Stock and Learn

August 21st, 2013

Now that the summer is starting to wind down, it’s time to start looking at your 5×5 Challenge Garden to see what you want to change and what you’ll keep exactly the same.  When I look at my garden I notice it’s a bit over planted.  Of course I somehow ended up with 3 zucchini plants instead of the 2 that were in my plan, so that is what caused most of my problem.
5x5 Challenge Garden in August
The sowing of lettuce was perfect, when I harvested it, there was plenty of room for the beans to expand and spill over into that space.  Overall, I’d give my garden 4 out of 5, I’m very happy with the layout, the plan and how well it did.  My zucchini plants are still going strong and providing lots of food for us and for the pigs.

What worked and what didn’t work in your garden this year? What changes are you going to make for next year?

8 Comments to “Take Stock and Learn”
  1. kristin @ going country on August 21, 2013 at 5:45 am

    By total bad luck, the rotational planting meant the tomatoes were planted in a bit of a wet spot. Normally a good thing; not good for this year, when we almost built an ark early in the summer.

    So now, of course, they’ll be in the driest corner of the garden next year and we’ll have a drought. Murphy’s luck.

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  2. angie h on August 21, 2013 at 7:56 am

    I way over planted my raised beds, even though I followed the square ft garden plants per sq ft. I just wasn’t anticipating my tomatoes growing so big as I have never had that kind of success b/c of our poor soil in the other garden. I used too many “spots” for tomatoes and they crowded a lot of things out, there wasn’t enough air flow, and some things were to shaded from those big guys!

    I also have a better idea of what will be done early to free up space for other things. Other then some cabbage and broccoli that normally failed, this was my first time planting early season stuff.

    Reply to angie h's comment

  3. Lisa Sewell on August 21, 2013 at 8:24 am

    We had wonderful luck with potatoes, beets, different varieties of squash, zucchini/summer squash, pole beans, and tomatoes. Things didn’t go as well with our carrots, cucumbers, onions, or corn. I guess each year brings an opportunity to improve the soil and learn.

    Reply to Lisa Sewell's comment

  4. Nebraska Dave on August 21, 2013 at 9:57 am

    I have learned over the years that each year is different. Just because one year produces an excellent harvest for let’s say watermelons, it doesn’t mean that growing exactly the same way the next year will produce the same results. Each year is a year unto its own. This year the green beans for me were prolific and so were the cabbage. However the cucumbers not so much. One years garden success can not be compared completely with another. Weather is the biggest factor. This year the unusually cool nights in my area caused the tomatoes not to ripen for several weeks later than last year. Some years bugs and disease are prevalent and others not so much. I’m convinced that resilience as has been talked about here is the key to successful gardening.

    Have a great day in the garden.

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  5. Colleen on August 21, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Overall the garden was a success this summer. This was the first year to plant tomatoes from seed, instead of starts, we are having a bumper crop. We did have a pest issue in the brassicas, next spring we may try using a row cover to see if that helps. Definitely less spaghetti squash, one healthy plant is more than enough. Plant more potaoes and plant onions from seed. We need to remember that every year is a little different and not get too discouraged when things don’t go as planned. Try planting one or two new items, next year sweet potatoes and parsnips.

    Reply to Colleen's comment

  6. KimH on August 21, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Next year I’d like to actually get one in! :P It rained so much and it was so horrible, that only right now would it be possible to plant a garden.. I’ve got a little bit of soil in my front yard that I’m thinking of planting in the 5×5 method.. maybe the year wont be a complete loss.. :)

    Reply to KimH's comment

  7. Caroline on August 21, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    This year…. nothing really worked. My garden gets too much shade, which I couldn’t tell back in the spring when I picked it (based on the recommendation of my next door neighbors.) *shrugs*

    I have a brand new FULL sun spot dug up for next year! That’s my biggest change! I’ll also pay closer attention to spacing, some of my tomato plants are too close together, I can see, and thriving in full sun I’ll hinder them by planting them as close as they are.

    The OTHER change I’m going to make is taking a small portion of my big garden and turning it into a “salad garden” – lettuce, radishes, even a cherry tomato plant. :) And making sure to cage it in to keep the bunnies away!

    Reply to Caroline's comment

  8. laura on August 22, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    my garden completely fell apart this year. my fault- due to my health i wasn’t able to tend it like it needed, plus i didn’t mulch as i planted (huge giant mistake!!) if i still have a place to garden next year, i’m going to remember to mulch as i plant among other things.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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