Our gardens in many lights

vendredi 17 novembre 2017

Successes and failures 2017, part 1

 Cet article en français.
Fall postcard material: a yellowing grape vine and a black Halloween cat. I should have added the single pumpkin I harvested to the picture.

Similar article from last year:
Year 2016

I really had to go back to previous articles to make sure I wasn't repeating myself: We had a weird gardening season this year! The temperatures were completely azimuth, a clear sign that climate change is not an illusion.

My article won't be long this year because frankly, I didn't work in the garden as hard as I should have and did in previous years. I have to admit that the garden suffered because of that. The main reason was because I enrolled at the University and especially through the intensive summer session (months of May and June) where the class I took was going twice as fast as a normal class, It didn't give me the time required to properly start the garden (since this sensitive period coincides with these two months, too). And for many other, more personal reasons, the rest of the summer and fall didn't get its fair share of time from me either.

Results: what did all right were the perennials; the plants that have been there for a long time and don't need my attention to do what they do best. The strawberries (including the new white variety), raspberries, peaches, grapes, red currants. Most annuals performed alright but nothing stellar.

Tomatoes, for example, did well enough, but my family didn't enjoy eating them much so I didn't pass as much time harvesting them either. Potatoes did alright but again, I'm pretty sure I lost a lot of them at the moment of harvest, some of the tubbers already showed signs of rot and there was a spot right in the center of where I planted them that - althought there was a lot of potato leaves - there was no potatoes under whatsoever. Beans didn't do well either since the plants got attacked by a parasite: the leaves were all chomped up and by the time I came around to notice the problem, it was too late. I don't even know what insect is responsible. I'll most likely will have to stop planting beans for a couple of years to limit the growth of the pest's population.

For better or worst, I don't spray my fruit trees - like my peach tree. The fruits were thus quite unattractive (check the picture above) when I harvested them, but it is a type of fruit where the skin is so thick that once you peel it, only a gorgeous, delicious and juicy fruit is left! I harvested so many (around 80 fruits) that we had quite a peach fiesta here! Fresh fruits of course, but I made many clafoutis, smoothies and jams out of them. I even froze some for this winter!
That's only the third of the harvest.

The grapes were made into a delicious juice. In the white bowl are black cherries from my son's tree; I only picked the ones I could reach without a ladder.

Finally at the end of the season, and althought temperatures were quite warm in the day, the nights were quite chilly. The last tomato harvest didn't give great fruits - even thought these fruits looked all right on the plants, once inside they had a tendency to rot fast. It wasn't visible at first but these tomatoes had gone through a cold spell and were spoiled. I had 3 varieties of tomatoes in my garden this year: 'Pink Vernissage' (The big red, stripped orange left), 'Cherry Orange' (center) and 'White currant' (right).

 Finally a couple cups of 2 varieties of beans, ('Scarlet Runner' and 'Nebraska Beauty'), a pumpkin and some Paprika peppers still green complete the last of the harvest here.
'Scarlet Runner' to the left and 'Nebraska Beauty', center, are the 2 bean varieties of the garden this year. A small pumpkin called 'Sunshine', dried lavander and Calendula flowers.

All the beauty of permacultures jumps in my mind yet again: A well-established garden prevents hassle and concern. Perennials are without a doubt the best pillars to support a gardener short on time, a lesson that came back to my mind from this fabulous book. There was plenty of proof in my garden this year too: my perennials gave me a lot of fruits while my annuals severely lagged behind.

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