The soil in the garden hadn’t been managed for the 5 year so the bed was overcome by weeds including the dreaded bindweed and thistle. There were many other varieties popping up, including the prairie grass we were depending on for our future fodder, but didn’t want it in our vegetable plot! I committed to be an organic gardener so spend 1-2 hours daily just pulling weeds! I bought a new rototiller, but didn’t plan the garden rows far enough apart to accommodate it. Live and learn! The weeds kept coming back so I needed to come up with a solution for next year. I took an Advanced Vegetable Gardening class at the Botanic Gardens and came up with my plan for next year. I planted a fall cover crop and plan to do a spring cover crop next month. I’m going to create wider rows so the plants are closer together and will use our cut prairie grass for mulch. While I love using the rototiller, I’m told it’s hard on the beneficial bacteria in the soil. I plan to use it minimally this next season. I’ll let you know how it works!
Unfortunately, with all the home renovations last year, I got a very late start on the vegetable plot and didn’t have time to grow any plants inside from seed. It was expensive purchasing tomato and pepper plants so everything else in the garden was grown outside by seed. We had an okay crop, but I learned what I like (Roma tomatoes) and don’t like (crook neck squash), what does well (lettuce) and what doesn’t (potatoes). I also learned I can save money on seeds by purchasing heirlooms and collecting the seeds at the end of the season to use the following year. In addition, the heirlooms are GMO free. I already collected heirloom tomato and lettuce seeds for this coming year! And of course, since it’s already February, I just bought 30 new non-GMO, heirloom seed packets, most of which are organic. If this is going to be an artisan farm, I want the produce to be the most natural and tasty it can be. We’ll try these new seeds out this year and see what works best.