Monday, November 03, 2008

Our Very Own Pumpkin Patch

This year for the first time, we got our halloween pumkins from our very own pumpkin patch! In past years, we tried to grow them in the front yard (the deer ate every blossom before it ever fruited) and the back yard (on the North side of the house, not enough sun to ripen once the sun starts dipping to the South). But this year with our new fenced garden to the Southeast of the house, it was just perfect. For more about our adventures picking and carving them, you can see my Blue Skies Blog. But here I just want to exult a little bit in our new garden addition and how well it worked out this year.

If you've been reading here for awhile, you might remember that two years ago we got ten dumptruck loads of leaves dumped on that spot from our city's leaf collection program, and I spent half the winter raking them out over the garden area. Over the course of a year, they composted down until there was no longer a pile, just some very fertile earth. Then this spring we fenced off the area and it looked like this:

Then it ended up looking like this, the green beans got so overgrown I had a hard time even taking a photo, and they actually trellised themselves all the way up into the tree that was overhanging the fence, so we had green beans growing 15 feet up the tree. But the bottom line is that this new garden spot ended up being very productive - we harvested about 150 pounds of produce (I did include the pumpkins in that amount) from that front garden area.

We got tons of green beans, which did really well. The peppers flopped there, but did well in our raised beds in the back so that didn't matter too much, and we got a nice amount of tomatoes (but plan on trellising them next year for a better harvest). We also got fresh corn on the cob, lettuce, carrots, and potatoes, cucumbers, and now broccoli, chard, beets, cabbage, and kale. I was picking a bucket like this every couple of days throughout the harvesting season and its still doing well.

Next year's plan is to expand that area to an even bigger size, grow enough tomatoes to can tomatoe sauce, and have a salsa garden, as well as adding some strawberry beds and maybe raspberries. Garden dreams have a way of keeping me going through the winter season, and with this year's success, I'm even more energized for next year.

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