What we'll do differently in next year's garden

What We’ll Do Differently Next Garden Year

Pendleton Family FarmAugust 2, 2021

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Squash bugs, deer, tomato blossom end rot, fruit cracks, blight…all of it. We’ve literally dealt with every single issue so far on our garden this year, so I’ve come up with things we will do differently next year and wanted to share. I hope this gives you hope and perseverance to know you’re not alone. 

What we'll do differently in next year's garden

You can read all about our garden July updates here

FENCING

First things first is fencing for the permanent garden area. The realization that we do in fact have quite a few deer families living near us means we have to protect what we have planted. It’s just too tempting for them and I don’t blame them one bit. The back end of our house has a huge plot where soy and corn have been planted for years(more on that in a minute) and it’s the perfect spot(close enough to the house to be watered twice a day) to have a permanent garden area. 

I’m obsessed with watching That 1870s Homestead on Youtube and this image is exactly what I want as far as fencing. We may have to electrify it, but we’ll make that decision once we get started. I’d love to get that completed this fall since it’s much cooler weather and not so miserable. 

COVERCROP

Surprisingly, that plot of land is in good shape, but when there is no grass/crop there, the erosion is just not good. Our plan is to cover crop that entire area with a fall mix in hopes it will not only bring vitality to the soil but prevent all the good stuff from just washing away. 

GARDEN FABRIC/GROUND COVER

In order to keep the weeds/grass under control (ask me how I know), ground cover will cover every inch of plant space. Our plan is to order from Johnny’s Select Seeds. Even with consistent work, the weeds are out of control. 

Not our image. Shown for demonstration purposes. 

COMPOST & WOOD CHIPS

When planting this year, I was really good about adding compost to the soil, but was not in adding something on top of everything to retain not only moisture but to hinder weeds as well. We signed up for ChipDrop and I’m confident we’ll get a big truck load before next year. Hopeful lol. 

After putting some mulch/etc down after realizing how much better our plants were doing…I’m never going back. It’s an amazing trick to keeping moisture in and things you don’t want in…out. We’ll also be using old grass clippings, leaves, etc. to do the same thing. 

BETTER FERTILIZING PRACTICES

I fertilize…when I remember. Ughhh, I’ve been terrible at this, but I’ve come up with a plan for next year in which I add it to the calendar so it can’t be missed. I’ve been using organic fish fertilizer and I’ve been so pleased. 

I’d like to shoot for every 2 weeks to keep them all growing amazing and so they get all the nutrients they need. 

MORNING STROLL AND SQUASH BUG PICKING

The squash bugs that are here are insane. They multiple every day and they took my entire crop of pumpkins(well, I did get 2). I’ve learned to just go around and search under each leaf and squash them (non-pun intended but still funny). I’ve also learned that wrapping the base with self adherent wraps helps as well. So yes, I will be wrapping every single plant base. I’m not playing around next year. 

I’m also considering using insect barrier netting, but we’ll see. 

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