Happy New Year!
With 2010 upon us, its time to think about our New Year's Gardening Resolutions. It seems much more exciting planning these than some of the traditional resolutions that involve health and finances. A fresh start and dreams of what could be are my motivation to take on these new challenges. 2009 had its ups and downs and I need to take these into consideration when I plan.
- added bees to our small farm and love 'em
- added more fruit trees, grapes and strawberries
- enjoyed the increased amount of butterflies that have fed and multiplied here
- added 100'+ of landscaping beds along the inside of my fence
- surprised by quite a few plants that came up unexpectedly. They were seeds that I had planted the year before.
- enjoyed the maturity my garden beds have started to take on. There is hope!
- built a roof over the rabbit's enclosure. Yes!
2009 Failures and Lessons Learned
- instead of our normal 50" yearly rainfall we received 70", thus most of the rest of the failures are linked to
- living on silt loam and the added rain caused flooding and really slow draining soil. Some of my plants and trees died from too much water. Those that didn't looked like they should have. I'm thankful for my Wellies because that is how I gardened in 2009. I just felt so helpless though.
- because of all of the standing water, the mosquitoes came. We usually don't have a problem with those, but this year was much different. I thought we were living near a swamp!
- because of the mosquitoes, my chickens caught "foul pox". It's like "chicken pox" but for chickens..funny. They recovered so I guess I should add this to successes.
- my nice large garden that I worked so hard on was either #1 flooded or #2 covered in weeds. All of the added water made the weeds grow faster than I could pull them. I was able to salvage some things though. Although I was afraid to go out there at times because we found a water moccasin in a watering can on the front porch. Picking a tomato wasn't worth a snake bite to me.
- fire ants were crazy this year. The rain caused massive breeding and invasion into raised beds. Not being able to treat the mounds in the vegetable garden was challenging.
- my home school obligations were much higher this year, so my days of being able to work outside on a clear/dry day were hard to match up!
Here's to 2010... May this year be the best ever!
I am making plans for new year. With my son graduating high school this year, it may need to be a year of flexibility. Scholarship and grant research has to be moved pretty high up on our list over the next 6+ months. With that, and moving plants to "less prone to flood" areas, I will persevere. I would like to add more raised beds, but we'll have to see if time and money allows it.
Goals for 2010:
- add one or two more hive of bees to my lot
- breed my rabbits for one litter.
- re-work my maturing landscaping. Some plants are WAY to big for where they are and need to be moved.
- install a butterfly garden. I would like one for monarchs. Go to monarchwatch.org to see what I'm talking about. Our property is on the migration route and we think it would be a great way to help them.
- try to make our gardens, lawn and overall outside work lower maintenance. That will require more mulching, removing lawn, etc. I am trying to convince my husband that I "need" a miniature horse. Kids would love it. I "think" I could handle it better than a full sized horse AND it would eat grass and make manure for my gardens! Win, win and win!