Covid Garden 2020
Well, working at the golf course has ended for the season. I really have , mixed feelings about this. I miss being at the course, but my workload to golf ratio is not very good this year. Nowhere near the number of rounds I was able to fit into my schedule last year. I can say, I do not miss the early morning shifts as a greeter, because the mornings were cold and the wind always seemed to be blowing where my station was located. As a starter, you could go into the shelter to get out of the elements, no such luxury as a greeter. I hope that next year, things will return to normal, but that hinges on whether or not everyone can pay attention to the protocol guidelines for covid. Fingers crossed! Even better would be that there has been a successful vaccine that has been properly tested, but I fear I may be too optimistic.
Going to cover a few different topics in this blog: a summary of how the vegetables did this year, what my plans are for growing next year, what seeds I am going to order and start inside, changes to the garden beside the deck and the new garden behind the pool. It is rolling around to the time when I start assembling my facts and thoughts to do my before Xmas Leaf Report Card. This will be a separate post, hopefully a Vlog, because I definitely can talk tons faster than I can type.
How the Vegetables did this in 2020
Best to start this section with some history about the growing areas and the weather. My old faithful raised garden needed to be taken down because of the work we were getting done around the pool. As a result I purchased a couple of replacement raised gardens online from a local. These turned out not to be as large as I had hoped. I knew I was not growing too much , so I thought they could still suffice. (MISTAKE 1) Where I located them turned out to not be ideal either (MISTAKE 2)
The location did not get enough shade, and with the heat that we experienced this summer, getting the veggies to grow properly became a nightmare. I literally made a shade to put over the plants to try to keep them from burning. The zucchini started off like gangbusters, so much that it smothered the cucamelon plant that was planted next to it. I had many flowers on the plant, both male and female, but only a few got pollinated. The plant then got very leggy and no further flowers were produced. The cucumber, similar to the zucchini, grew quickly, produced many flowers and I did get a decent number of cucumbers. The tomatoes were for the mostpart best described as a disaster. Only got a couple of tomatoes off of each plant. However, on the upside, when the primary cucamelon plant was overtaken by the zucchini, I put a back up plant into a large pot and located it on my deck to protect it from the full sun. The plant grew to over 5 feet and spread along the bricks of the house. The return from this plant exceeded 200, and could have been better, but the plant was getting top heavy and required additional support. I think I disrupted the roots when I was giving the plant more support. Some of the stems started to falter. (MISTAKE 3) The only thing left were the peppers, The planter for the peppers also needed to be moved because of the concrete replacement around the pool. Where we put it, the plants were growing, but not very fast. This year I reduced the number to only 4 plants, 2 Jalapenos, and 2 Green Bell Peppers. Once the planter was returned to its regular spot, the plants seemed to double in size almost over night. The return from these far exceeded my expectations. We harvested over 180 Jalapenos and over 40 Bell Peppers from the 4 plants.
Plans for growing next year
The two planters I used this year for the veggies will be used for annuals. I am going to grow only one Tomato, one Cucumber, and one Cucamelon. I will plant these in large planters and keep them on the deck. For peppers, I have purchased another raised garden. I am going to put a wicking watering system into the planter, similar to the one that I have in the present pepper planter. The new planter is larger, so I am going to plant more plants next year. I will probably still only have 2 sweet pepper plants, I hope I can find the plant I had 2 years ago, it was a sweet black pepper.I will increase the number of hot peppers. I will of course still have Jalapenos, but after that, still undecided. Possibly a Habenero or Ghost. The only other planting for next year will be my third year of growing marijuana. As in the past, I will germinate seeds and take the 4 best looking plants to plant outside. I think this will be my last year of this experiment. I am going to grow all autoflowering feminized seeds with the exception of one plant that will be just feminized. The reason for the autoflowering plants is simple, shorter growing period, far less concern about cold weather, rain, or frost. The one only feminized plant is because i want to try to FIM and top the plant, so that it produces more branches and does not grow nearly as tall.
What will I start inside this year for 2021
Last year I grew cucamelon, lemongrass, tomato, sunflowers, delphinium, a couple of other wild flowers and of course the germinated marijuana seeds.
This year I will again grow the cucamelon. I will again Grow sunflowers from seed, but I am choosing strains that do not grow too tall, possibly Vincent Choice, Velvet Queen, or Procut White night. I will try the poppies again for the garden in the back corner. I was thinking, Ladybird or Canadian Poppy strains. Outside of that, I think I will only try a coneflower mix to populate the new garden behind the pool. As for the marijuana stains...that will be a TBA for now. The most exciting inside grow will be the exotic Hosta seeds I purchased. Here’s hoping it isn’t another Covid Impulse Purchase that I have been scammed on. If it isn’t, I am willing to share!
The garden near the deck has been an assortment of perennials, but mostly hostas. I am going to move the majority of the perennials to the new garden behind the pool. Filling in where the perennials had been, I hope to plant my new Hostas. The garden already boasts over a dozen different types, Should look quite nice if all goes according to plan.
Well that pretty much outlines my gardening for 2020. I will keep everyone posted as I start getting comments back from my testers for this year. I close with a few pictures from this year, even the second bloom of my geraniums. Pic 1, a lily i didn't plant, sprung up beside one of my milkweed. Pics 2 and 3 are second bloom for the geraniums, Pic 4, a delphinium I grew from seed. pic 5 ( the larger one) is another lily that I did plant in the box with my sedums. The last 2 are of an annual called Cottage Lemon, name shown in picture 6. I have taken seeds and hope to grow for next year. This turned out to be a very hearty and attractive plant throughout the season.
If you are wondering why so few flower pictures... see picture at the top of this blog. This is Oakley, A six month old, 61.2 lb. garden digger.