Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 Wrap Up And My 2014 Gardening Plans

2013 was a good year for my Phokeng garden. We had some bumper crops, a few moderately good crops, and some major disasters.
I want to increase the veggies/flowers/herbs mix in beds; move towards potager

Bumper crops

Tomatoes were sweet, with less acidity
We had enough tomatoes to eat some fresh, froze enough to last us through Spring, and sold quite a lot of it.

Spinach, chard, onions, parsley, thyme and chillie were also among my crops of the year from Autumn in 2013 through the summer.

We still have enough spinach and chilli to give to family and friends and sell to the locals.

The money goes towards buying seed. I also haven't bought herbs in a year, using dried herbs from the garden when they are not in season.

Major disasters

Basiccas like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli  as well as lettuce are not doing well. The cabbage heads are puny and dry, and the broccoli, caulifower and lettuce mostly bolt to seed quickly. I still don't know what I did wrong with the potato crops.

We're trying again in 2014, but this time, we're going to plant seedlings in the ornamental garden in front of the house, where there are a lot of trees and shade, so that they can hopefully stay cool enough to fruit properly.

Average crops

pumpkin, butternut, squash, watermelon, cucumber run amok
The rest of the crops, like butternut, cucumber, green pepper, pumpkin, squash and basil were OK. Enough to keep us supplied on season but not enough to store for the rest of the year.

Unpopular vegetables

We also established that the family doesn't like eggplant, turnips and radishes, so I won't be planting those three again.

Quantity and variety

Now that the infrastructure work is mostly done in the garden, I'm going to spend more time and money planting the garden up as tightly as possible. This will ensure I increase the quantity of vegetables I get, but also the variety of veggies I grow.

My vegetable selection is based on whether the family will eat it without complaint, as well as the ease of propagating it. Then there's vegetables and herbs I just find interesting.

I am looking forward to 2014. It feels like the prep time is mostly over and we can now focus on growing as much food as possible. I'm also leaning towards transforming it into a potager, with herbs, flowers, veggies and fruit growing happily alongside each other.

Wish me luck!

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