It’s crisp in the air. Time for fire pits, sweaters, and Uggs. For me it’s time to clean up my garden and prepare for next year. This is my second year gardening and I’m still learning. My desire is to grow my garden organically. Organic gardening requires knowledge of natural insecticides and fertilizers, something that I know little about. Between pests and heat, my plants suffered greatly.
Squash bugs decimated my zucchini and yellow squash plants. I did, however harvest 2 yellow squash and one zucchini before I had to destroy the plants. In spite of the loss, I am encouraged since I only harvested one zucchini last year. After reading about natural deterrents, I will try planting nasturtiums or marigolds with the squash next year. The tomato and bell pepper plants had a little green visitor with a healthy appetite, a hornworm. I’m from the South so I’m not usually bothered by insects, but that worm made my skin crawl. He was more like the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland. Between the worm and a disease which I have yet to identify, I wasn’t able to harvest any tomatoes. As for herbs, the cilantro didn’t grow long enough to produce anything to harvest. After doing a little more research, I discovered that cilantro doesn’t like the heat and it doesn’t grow for long. Next year I’ll plant it earlier and in succession. My one triumph was basil. I’ve had basil all summer and still have some growing. I plan to freeze and dry the rest.
While my garden was not as successful as I had hoped, I’m not discouraged. I’ve acquired more knowledge to take into next year. Even in my little space I was able to grow more than I did last year. I’ve started a gardening journal to help me remember my successes and failures for future reference. Feel free to check out my photos in the Gardening section and share your own gardening experiences.