Thinking Ahead To Next Spring

It’s still summer and we are just now getting our garden ready for Fall/Winter planting but I’m starting to put together some thoughts for next Spring.  I do need to do a better job of organizing the garden and sticking to a schedule for succession planting.  I also need to pay closer attention to the weather.

Based on the relatively poor luck I’ve had with peppers the last couple of years, I think that next season I will plant them all in containers with a really good potting mix.  I am not sure why, but (aside from the Espelettes) they just have not done well in our beds.  I think that part of the problem is that I am planting them too early.  I may wait until after May 1 next season.

We had good luck with the straw bales, but I don’t think I’ll use them again.  We are going to convert that space to traditional raised beds.  It was a fun experiment and we did get a lot of squash from them, but I don’t think the process was worth the effort.

I am going to do a better job at controlling pests on beans.  This year’s bean crop was barely satisfactory and our pole beans just didn’t produce well.

Aside from a couple of varieties from Wild Board Farms (Mike saw some photos of Brad’s Atomic Grape Tomatoes and said WHY AREN’T WE GROWING THOSE??) we will try all dwarf tomato varieties next season.  I’ve been combing through Craig LeHoullier’s reviews of all the DTP Releases and choosing a few that I would like to try – and I need to re-read the things that Jack and others have posted about their experiences also.  I’m also going to try a Centiflor Tomato, just for fun )

I will definitely grow tromboncino squash again.  They produced well, resisted pests well and taste good.  I hate to say it, but I will also continue the “nuclear” approach to pest control on squashes next season.  We were careful with spraying and managed to get a really good crop (the first good one in years).

I probably won’t plant Malabar Spinach again- I was the only one who would eat it and I can use that space for something that we both (and the extended family) like.  If I do plant it, I will put it along a fence row to use as an ornamental.  The “berries” were pretty and it seems that birds liked them.

I will grow Honeynut Butternut squash again also.  They were delicious!

New things I will try next season:

Italiko Rosso Dandelion and French Dandelion – I like the flavor of the greens.  It seems insane to cultivate dandelions but I like them haha

Tahitian Melon Squash

Chinese Multicolor Spinach

Red Roselle Hibiscus – I love hibiscus plants of all varieties- when I was a kid we (and my grandmother) had lots of Altheas/Rose of Sharons growing and I’ve tried to keep that tradition alive.  We also have a few other hardy hibiscus plants (including Confederate Roses) and I’ve grown one that has beautiful burgundy foliage.

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