Well, I'm still a newb gardener.. but I'm at least learning a bit more this year! I thought I'd post some photos of how my stuff is doing, as I'm just sort of feeling my way around like everyone else-- I've made a few bad decisions here and there, but, hey, maybe someone else can learn from my mistakes/experiences too?
Anyone else can add something in, also
Photos of my garden included at the bottom... as you can see, I bought a little bit too much hay. I have the pictured leftover, along with a totally other whole bale! whoops!
Thought about planting some strawberries in them, but it might be a bit too late and I don't have the room...
1. Don't bury your onions too deep. I made that mistake. I have tops, but the bulbs are REALLYYYY small.. Whoops. Going to leave them in a month or so longer to see if they do something, but going to try a fall planting at a shallower depth to see if can still manage to get some onions this year...
2. Always trellis, support, or cage the tomato plant immediately after planting. Don't go in with the attitude that you'll take care of it in a few days... now my container tomato is WAY too big for me to be able to do anything with, I'm going to have to jury rig something up for that huge plant. It's already got little green tomatoes on it.
3. Potatoes work out great in containers, BUT... for blight purposes (I've got a little bit of late blight that I've been fighting with them) I wouldn't put containers with the same type of plant next to each other, and would spread them out a bit more. Unfortunately, these are too heavy for me to move right now!
4. The blue containers are on sale at home depot for 5.97, just drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage and they make AWESOME planters, even for larger plants such as Zucchini!
5. Bugs love to eat pepper & Lima bean plants. Slugs too. Protect them as much as you can!
6. Soil temperature really does make a difference. Keep an eye out on that.
7. Keep up on weeding, I neglected my garden a bit because it was raining so much. I came out and had quite a few to pull!
8. Mushrooms are OK, they'll go away soon enough.
9. Everything will flower, both male and female, you just have to give it time! As much as I wish it otherwise, it won't grow while I'm staring at it, all day!
10. Enjoy the fresh food. It'll be the best you've ever tasted
11. If you have a small garden like I do, one bale of hay is enough. Really. Don't buy two- just by one. It'll give plenty.
12. Space planning. It helps. I went all hodge-podge this year, but I'm not sure if I could call it a success or not. Guess I'll have to see at the end of the year!
13. Don't freak out if you see a bug nearby. Study it, remember what it looks like, THEN wage war if it's a bug you don't want ! Not all bugs are bad...
14. if you see a sign of a disease, and it's spreading over a plant to the point where it's too much to manage, just pull that plant so it doesn't spread to others. Even if it breaks your heart to do so...
15. If a crop isn't working out, just go ahead, pull it, and try something else. It never hurts to be adventurous!
16. Plant what you'll eat, and Plant in a quantity that you can manage~ this has been my biggest mistake... I planted too many tomatoes and too many zucchini. I could have used 2 or 3 of those plant spaces for another type of plant, which I don't' really have room for.
17. Take advantage of max space, by using both in ground and container gardening. It helps to have both, I've found!
18. Bug spray (on you, not the plants!) will be your best friend. a hat helps too.
my 2 pumpkin plants:
Zucchinis in ground:
With the straw laid down... I've got a TON of extra.
Overall view, in ground:
I had a strawberry bed, but decided to pull them since production slowed down, and I wanted room for my pumpkin plant to sprawl.
Monster container tomato. This is the one I forgot to trellis/support. Notice how the tomato plants in the garden (same kind) are growing perfectly in sync with the cages? Well, this plant had some other ideas!
Container Pepper and garlic in front, Lima beans behind, climbing on the tomato cages I gave them to wrap around.
My one currently producing container Zucchini, the fruit there is going to be picked this weekend!
2 I've already picked, partly eaten with dinner
Container potatoes, starting to flower. One of the plants is starting to die, but I keep having to remember that, with potatoes, the dying back is OK! It means I'll end up with potatoes!