I’ve grown flowers for years, but this is the first year I’ve attempted to grow edibles. It’s been a learning experience. Here are my conclusions so far:
- My seedlings went nowhere. They sprouted quickly and grew tall, but were always too skinny to transplant. On the other hand, the rogue tomato plant that’s come up at the base of my compost bin is extremely sturdy, and it had to come from a seed. I’m considering just planting my seeds outside from the start next year. They can’t do any worse than they did this year!
- The bell pepper plant that I got at Lowes has done fairly well. I’ll definitely get more transplants next year.
- The apple tree and blackberry bush aren’t producing yet, of course, but they’re growing very well. The almond tree is sprouting from the bottom, which seems odd. I don’t know how it will do in the long term.
- All of these, especially the pepper, require large amounts of water. Fortunately we’ve had a good bit of rain, or I would have had to use a lot more water from the house. I think I’m going to invest in some self-watering containers for next year, at least for the transplants.
- I haven’t had any serious problems with bugs yet. A few of the leaves on all of the plants have been chewed on a little, but not enough to require any treatment. I think I’ve just been lucky. I think I’ll get some organic insecticide for next year, just to be ready.
- I have an idea for two raised beds. They’ll take a lot of soil to fill, but it will be worth it. One will be for strawberries, and the other for asparagus – both perennials. I’ll just have to keep the weeds out of them. I’ll
only be able to afford to build one for next year; that will definitely be for strawberries!
- I want to order a lot of seeds next year – all of the things I think I might plant at some point. If seeds get scarce, I want to already have mine.
- I experimented with saving seeds from a red pepper that I bought at the farmers’ market last year, and those seeds sprouted just as well as the fresh-bought ones did. I’m going to get heirloom seeds from the catalogs, so I can save those seeds in the future.
I love watching these plants grow – I get so excited when I see a new pepper coming on, or leaves sprouting from the “sticks” that are going to be trees some day.