Friday, 14 October 2011

2011 Garden Flops

As we wind down the garden in preparation for winter, I'm thinking about what didn't perform in the garden this year.  Corn, corn and ah...  let's see.... CORN.  Pride cometh before a fall....  remember how great it all looked just a short time ago?

Overall, we had a very productive growing season in spite of a TERRIBLE start (weather wise).  We planted the main garden late due to a very cold early spring (complete with heavy Spring snowfall), and just when the snow melted, the rains came.  Torrential, heavy rain for the entire month of June literally flooded the garden (as in seeds floating on TOP of the soil).  

July was cool and completely lacking in our usual scorching temperatures that typically send the garden into overdrive.  August was our summer!   But.... alas, we left for an impromptu holiday in August, just when I needed to be watching the garden closely.   The timing couldn't be helped ~ we had the opportunity, so we took it and decided to pay whatever garden price we needed to in order to get "back home" for some family time.  It was the right decision :)

All things considered, we did okay...  having the corn flop isn't the end of the world.  Disappointing, yes, but not earth shattering.  We planted 2 varieties of non-GMO, heritage corn  (Bi-Color and Country Gentleman).  Sadly, the latter just didn't germinate well - my guess is that only 15% of it broke ground.  I cut my losses and planted a second sowing of peas in that location so I guess you could say that I made lemonade out of lemons.  Peas are good, too :)

I'm sure that our lacklustre corn harvest has more to do with the timing of our impromtu holiday than the actual corn itself... (us leaving town JUST when the heat came and the plot of Bi-color needed to be heavily watered and watched daily for picking readiness).  The actual net harvest of corn (had we picked it at the right time) wasn't spectacular in quantity for the space it took up, so I'm not sure that I'll plant corn again.   I'm certain that there is good reason why we don't see much corn growing here...  I just don't think our growing season is long enough.   

Our other distinct flop was my attempt at growing a second crop of brassicas.  A girls can try, right?  We had a fabulous first harvest thanks to my row covers (to keep the dreaded cabbage moth off the plants), so I boldly forged ahead to sow again.  I figured that the frost protection from the row cover just might net us another late fall harvest as long as the snow stayed away.  Wrong.  Once again, we left town right when those wee plants needed water.  They dry "cooked" under this row cover while we vacationed.

All in all, things could have been much worse....  we harvested enough of almost everything (except corn and brassicas) to last us into early Spring.  My goal was to grow enough to get us past Christmas (which was how far we got on stored veggies last year).  A girl can't complain about that!

1 comment:

  1. I think it's incredible, the amount of veg you grow for your family...I wouldn't be worried about a corn flop either if I could harvest such a wonderful bounty...Your soil looks so lovely and rich too. I'm trying lots of new veg in my garden this spring, so it's all very exciting.....
    Here's a secret: I've only ever grown corn about the height of just past my knees...which you can imagine the pitiful sized was recently told though, that to get good pollination, you need to have lots of flowers in your veg garden too, as the bees do all the work...OR gently shake the top fronds to scatter the pollen...Pftttt....I still can't grow it any taller
    Thanks again, I love reading about all your wonderful hard work that you do in your garden.