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Reaping Rewards

September 26th, 2017

This year I feel like I’m finally starting to reap the rewards of all my hard work over the past five years. The main vegetable garden is stunning, simply stunning. Every time I head up there to work I’m amazed at how lovely it looks this summer. It makes me stop and enjoy the garden on a daily basis.

This garden features a mix of flowers (both perennial and annual) and vegetables (both perennial and annual as well). As I start to think about the final design for this space, I take notice of plant shape, color, and structure every time I look at the garden.

I follow a no-dig gardening method, which has been an amazing discovery. This bucket of weeds is all I got from weeding the entire garden (which is roughly 70×80). It was the first time I had weeded in a month. If you want to know about the no-dig gardening method, I highly recommend books by Charles Dowding, No Dig Organic Home & Garden is a fantastic one.

The brussels sprouts are sizing up beautifully, I’m thinking of pruning half and leaving half as is. I’ve read that a little pruning can make them produce bigger, better sprouts. We shall see.

The Scarlet Runner beans that my dad gave me have bloomed beautifully for most of the summer. The hummingbirds enjoyed them until they migrated south. These were always a staple in my mom’s garden, she planted them just for the hummingbirds.

All three varieties of broccoli are still producing like mad. The ‘Happy Rich’ mini broccoli is producing loads of side shoots, as are the heirloom variety ‘DeCiccio’ and the hybrid ‘Marathon’ are producing side shoots as well. ‘Marathon’ produces side heads, that are actually quite large. We’re eating broccoli every evening from the side shoots.

Overall this year has been a grand success in the main vegetable garden. The potager has been neglected a bit, but the plan is to give it a complete overhaul with pathways, rock walls, and more. So it has become more of a nursery area than an edible garden space. Hopefully next year I will have extra time to get it headed in the right direction.

How is your garden growing this year? Do you feel like you’re starting to reap the rewards of all your hard work?

6 Comments to “Reaping Rewards”
  1. Mitch on September 26, 2017 at 8:37 am

    The main veggie garden is a bit hit & miss this year but it’s the first year for a new plot so it’s ok.
    The plot has been pasture for best part of 30yrs so I’ve avoided root crops because of wireworms. Hopefully the next couple of years will see improvement.
    I’m a fan of Charles Downing as well, I don’t produce enough homemade compost (yet) to really get into no dig system but I’m working on It!

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    • Susy on September 26, 2017 at 9:25 am

      I don’t produce nearly enough compost either, and mine is cold composted so it has weed seeds. I have found a great local source for weed free compost (you can see my post about this great find here). Thankfully this has been such a great resource for my garden. The soil is pretty depleted, so it’s been such a benefit at improving the soil The side that has gotten a deep mulching of compost for five years is so much more productive than the side that hasn’t.

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  2. Sara on September 26, 2017 at 8:37 am

    It looks stunning! That’s such a good feeling to feel that your long-term hard work and plans are coming together the way you visualized. I reconfigured one of my kitchen gardens a few years ago and it’s just more relaxing and peaceful to be in the space now, if that makes sense. I was just noticing yesterday that one reason I like having flowers in my veg gardens is that when things are getting scraggly at the end of the season, they add an exuberant prettiness that’s missing from the rest of the overgrown, wiltier looking areas :)

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  3. Mitch on September 26, 2017 at 8:41 am

    My main veggie plot is new this year so it’s been a bit hit & miss but it’s ok. Plot was pasture for nearly 30yrs so wireworms have been an issue but hopefully that will improve in the next couple of years but I won’t include roots in the mix..yet.
    I’m a fan of Charles Dowding, I don’t produce enough homemade compost for the no dig method (yet) but I’m working on it.

    Reply to Mitch's comment

  4. val on September 26, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Wow–your garden is my garden goal! I started out with things very delineated–my precious sunny space (farthest from the black walnut) for vegetables, then a separate ornamental garden. I did have some flowers and herbs in the vegetable space, but when the rabbits decimated my cone flowers, I moved them within the vegetable garden fence, and now I am getting a nice mix.

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  5. Jennifer Fisk on September 26, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Overall, I think I’ve done well with the broccoli, beans, and tomato sauce in the freezer. I have not been able to freeze any Patty Pan Squash because of the powdery mildew. I had good luck with the corn but not the winter squash. All in all though, it has been fine.

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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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