Lessons learned from the garden

If nothing else is successful in the garden this year, at least the sunflowers were!
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Finally four months after we planted them in the school scavenger hunt, the sunflowers bloomed!
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Just look at that gorgeous flower!
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The green beans are still doing well. I’m able to pick a few every day or two and we are eating fresh homegrown green beans about once a week.
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The ones in the above photo are the new ones I planted at the beginning of August after my cucumber plant bit the dust. They sprouted quickly and if you look closely you can see the flowers. So I expect to be able to pick green beans from these plants within the next week! Hopefully these new green beans will give me some more plentiful harvests.
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The original green bean plants are looking pretty scrappy. You can’t tell from the picture, but a few look like they’ve been trampled. Even though critters didn’t both my garden all summer, they have just started within the last two weeks. Interestingly enough, even the ones that are trampled and look broken have still been sprouting beans. There’s nothing like home grown sauteed green beans!
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I suppose it may have had something to do with the tomatoes. One of my plants had two tiny tomatoes and one was finally turning red… I was going to pick it any day! Then one morning I go out to look and the branch with the red tomato is broken and the tomato gone. The green one next to it was gone the next day.

Now both my tomato plants have new buds. There are five total teeny tiny tomatoes. I don’t have any means to put up a fence now and it would be a waste of money anyway considering the garden may only have another couple weeks. A lesson to be learned for next year I guess!
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My watermelons appear to be doing well. They have little yellow flower buds. I’m not sure if these will bear fruit and/or become edible because I planted them late, not until the middle of July, and they have to be pollinated. I read it takes 120 days for the watermelon to be ready for harvest. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see and try again next year!
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My squash plants have been the worst victims of the critters (probably rabbits). The same night that something took my tomato and trampled my green beans, it took about half the flowers off the squash. This week the rest of them disappeared. I have no idea if the flowers had been pollinated or not! Uggh! I was told with the number of squash I planted I’d have way more than enough and now I probably won’t have any.

None of the kale I planted grew and the carrots in the first planting barely grew. I have a bare space in the garden, but I didn’t plant anything there because it was just in the last few weeks I took those out and it seemed too late. Maybe it wasn’t, I don’t know. The second planting of carrots appear to be doing better, the green stems are at least bigger! I never take pictures of those though.
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We have an apple tree in our yard, which excites me greatly. I’m not sure what kind of apples they are. The apples all look pretty bad with blemishes and such and they’re still really small. But I’m hopeful that in spite of the imperfections, I can harvest enough apples to at least make a pie!

The biggest lessons I’ve learned from the garden this year is that I need to plant A BUNCH of green beans to have enough for a decent harvest at one time! But aside from that, apparently anyone can grow green beans! Its very important to turn the dirt really well when starting the garden, the plants from my second and third plantings after I turned the dirt better definitely grew better. Also I should go ahead and put up a fence even though I don’t think I need it, so that I don’t lose the fruits and veggies of my labor! I thought the watermelons would be hard, but it doesn’t seem like they are, so I will plant those sooner next year. I will also try to start some of the plants inside and in general start earlier. I won’t try kale again and I probably won’t do carrots.

I have had success and failure with the garden, but its definitely a learning experience and I can’t wait to see what else I get before the season ends and I definitely can’t wait to try again next year!

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