Timing is everything! Working full time and having too many distractions caused me to miss my window of opportunity to get the garden fully planted. Only half of the garden was utilized and quite a few of the plants were volunteers. By the time I had a break in the action, relentless high heat and no rain kept any new seedlings from sprouting. Lesson learned: Set aside a planting week (the world can wait) and get the thing done.
Work smart not hard! Along with having not enough time to spend in the garden, there was no time to get the irrigation system installed. Which meant hand watering was required which takes a LOT of time. Time I didn't always have. Lesson learned: Time spent on infrastructure, is time well spent!
Simplify! I always have big plans for the garden at the beginning of the season and am easily distracted by "fun" planting projects. Those fancy tomatoes and funny looking beans always catch my eye! Those are the seeds I usually buy first and end up having to scramble for my "core" plants, which sometimes mean I don't get the right stuff planted. Lesson learned: Stick with the plan and have the critical crop seeds ready to go, come planting time.
Be realistic. With life pulling me in every direction, I had an entire crop of pickling cucumbers that never got pickled. Frustrating!! But sometimes, that's how it goes. Canning has been hit and miss this season, but the freezer is full of corn, beans and zuchini, so at least we won't starve! Lesson learned: Be happy with what you have, learn to let go of the things that might have been.
Don't be afraid to try something different. With ducks in the garden this year, it was bound to get a little messy. While they initially ignored the plants, eventually they developed a taste for zuchini and beans. However, a few weeds growing next to the veggie plants provided great camouflage! So, not weeding, does have some benefits. I loved watching the ducks and even though they did a little damage, I never did see a tomato hornworm all season! Lesson learned: Embrace a little chaos!
Join us at www.facebook.com/thepocketfarmer for daily ramblings on farm and garden topics.
Hope to see you there! :)