Growing the Dream: Success at Gardening Part 2

After an extra month or so of cool temps and rains,
it looks like summer has decided to show up
in Kansas after all.   96' today, 98' tomorrow.  
Yikes...and yuck.

Peas in front and back (on other side of zucchini);
 a little worn but still producing nicely.

I've pulled the peas and most of the beans, a process
that was painful for this gardener and cook as they
 were still producing; however, a look at the forecast
has taken care of most of the guilt I had.  I think these
crops would've started to fizzle in the heat anyway.

A pile of plants waiting, in the cool shade, for my boys to remove the beans
before the rest hits the compost pile.  Quality family time, right?  Not sure they
would agree now but years later they will.

Plus, we've eaten our fill.
I've also frozen and canned all we need.

For optimal flavor and vitamins, I always serve as much as I can 
of any vegetable straight out of the garden--often they're 
 just minutes old.  This year I was still able to put about 
25 cups of peas in the freezer--my best crop of peas yet.

Still, it would've been fun to see just how much 
of these the garden could've produced.
Oh well...

Peas removed, tidiness restored and space open for Jack-B-Littles.
Plan ahead for crop rotation and to make the best use of space.

Which brings me to today's lesson.
The most successful gardens all begin with planning.
My garden may be in full production but I'm still 
thinking and planning for next year's as well,
which is why I make lots of notes this year.

The most useful tool a gardener can have is a journal.

Mine is simply a 3-ring binder--green of course.
I keep a running journal throughout the year on my
computer, printing off a hard copy to go in the binder 
after the season is over.

If you're new to gardening, or you just want to 
play along, how about starting now with the dream.
Write down everything you'd love to grow in your 
garden next year.

Your favorite vegetables to cook with.

Flip through your recipe collection if it helps.

Add herbs for flavor.

Don't forget flowers for color, to draw bees and

even repel pests and bunnies!
(we'll get to that)

Growing Patience:  Intro to Successful Gardening