Thinking of Next Year, Already
This is the time of year when I really get a thrill out of tearing things out.
I don’t want to imply that I’m tired of the garden. It’s just the time. It’s the end of August, the end of summer and a time of transition. There’s a bit of a shift in the air. When the pumpkins turn orange, I start getting antsy.
You might be interested: Mid-August on the Farm
Clearing out and harvesting this year’s garden makes me start thinking of next year’s garden, and all the things I want to do differently. Or of the things that worked out well. I’ve already started sketching out my crop rotation plans and jotting down new things to try. I know I’ll revise it endlessly through the winter, but that’s OK. It’s fun to do.
This year’s garden may not be done yet, but next year is definitely on my mind!
Grow open-pollinated corn. I’ve only ever grown SE/se hybrid corn. And it’s good, don’t get me wrong! It’s very sweet and tender, which we love. But our goal on this farm is to one day be as self-sustainable and ecologically-minded as possible, and growing a hybrid corn isn’t exactly that.
Grow more smaller varieties of sunflowers and grow more sunflowers in more places. I love sunflowers, and I love my big-headed mammoth varieties! But I also love the smaller ones, and I just want more of them!
You might like: A Trek into the Greenhouse
More watermelons! I don’t want to ruin any surprises, but the Mini Love watermelons I’m growing in the greenhouse are amazing! We ate the first one this weekend and it was the perfect size for our family of four. We each got a quarter and the taste was phenomenal. I have four plants this year, but I might need to double that number for 2019!
Keep growing cosmos, but not in rows. It turns out that I don’t like cosmos as much as I thought I did. It’s not that I don’t like them period, it’s just that I don’t like them as much as I like the other flowers, and I definitely don’t like rows of them blocking out whatever is in front of them. They’re a great cottage garden flower though, so I am going to try growing them primarily in the borders instead of the garden proper.
Expand the herb/flower garden! Every time I see the herb bed, I get so happy. It’s growing so well, and boasts many of my favorite flowers. I need to double this happiness next year and expand into the other side of the raised brick bed.
Not so many pickling cucumbers! I thought I was doing well this year by only planting six cucumber plants. Hahaha! In my greenhouse, those cucumbers went crazy. They went feral. They grew out their row, up their trellis, through the open greenhouse window, and are currently trying to make it across the field to the woods, where they can finally be free. I’m limiting myself to four plants next year, outside. I don’t think these wild beasts deserve cushy greenhouse living, the way they’re acting.
For more information: How to Keep Cucumbers Fresh and Firm
Make sure to give more room between beds. Does anyone else routinely forget how big vegetable plants seem to grow? I need to make my walking paths each about two-feet wide. I might even make my main path down the center of the garden bigger than that, to make room for the dwarf nasturtiums that look so lovely edging it.
One row of dill is perfect. I’d never grown dill before, so I wasn’t sure how to much to grow, or where? In the herb garden? In a pot? Does dill spread? I just ended up growing a single row of seeds, and that seems to be the perfect amount. Enough for all the endless pints of pickles I’ve been making, but not too much to feel overwhelming.
Of course, I don’t want summer to be over just yet. Not at all. Not hardly.
It’s just that I do love the idea of a clean slate each spring to start fresh and new in. To do it all again, but to do it so much better than before.
Bring it on, 2019!
Posted on one of my favorite blog hops!