One of my main motivations in starting this blog was to better organize my gardening notes. I've never kept a real gardening journal, I just jot down notes on scrap paper and cram them in my copy of the Sunset Northeastern Garden Book. My system leaves much to be desired.
Flipping through my book, I've managed to locate the following disjointed gems of wisdom:
Plant radishes in fall. We had a really warm spring in 2010. The radishes bolted long before they set a good root and the greens were small, sad, bitter things. But the fall radishes! The fall radishes were delicious! They were huge, perfectly sweet and had wonderfully tasty greens. However, I'm probably going to ignore that note. We might have a mild spring, and I love radishes. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Plant more Fresh Salsa tomato. Lime soil. "Fresh Salsa" was a new variety of tomato I tried last year. I usually only plant the tried and true Jersey heirloom "Rutgers" and "Super Sweet 100" cherry tomatos, but last year I decided to go for something different. "Fresh Salsa" is a newer plum tomato that is just about the meatiest and least juicy I've ever seen. I only planted three, since I wasn't sure how it would do or whether or not I would like it. Those three bushes produced a glut of tomatoes that were absolutely perfect for making tomato sauce. Unfortunately, they developed blossom end rot and I lost most of the fruit. Hence the "lime soil" note. For next year, I'd like to plant more so that I can freeze some tomato sauce for winter.
Mulch peppers and start earlier. Only plant one jalapeno. My poblano and bell peppers did not ripen until fall. I did start them late, but I also think mulching will help get them fruiting quicker. My jalapenos produced like champs throughout the summer and fall. I had way too many jalapenos.
Try shading herbs. The cilantro always bolts. I want to try planting them under the trellises to see if a little shade slows them down.
Round "umbrella" type bean pole did not work. Ha! This was one of my "brilliant" do-it-yourself projects. I un-bent a coat hanger, then re-bent it into a circle. I tied the coat hanger to the top of a bamboo stake and then tied strings all around the coat hanger. It looked like a redneck jellyfish. Unfortunately, it also had the structural integrity of a jellyfish. It broke in the first summer thunderstorm and I had to harvest my pole beans off the ground. I won't be doing that again.
Use 2x4s to support trellises. We get pretty high winds here, bamboo stakes are not up to the task. See above.
Only Plant One Zucchini!!!!!!!! I make this note every year. And every year I cave and end up planting a couple rows of zucchini. And every gardener knows how that goes......