The air is cool here at night now and that first frost is going to come anytime. Most of the garden is winding down so it’s time to write about the outcome of my little container garden experiment.
We had lots of tomatoes, really delicious ones. We had a lot of peppers. The smaller peppers, chillies, sweet and hot banana and jalapeno really produced well. The green onions were wonderful. The herbs did very well. I was especially pleased by my lemon thyme plant which gave us the most wonderfully flavoured lamb we ever had. We had weeks of lovely salads spiced with fresh herbs and those were a mouth watering delight. And the rain barrel? Greatest thing since my deluxe honey wagon. One good rainstorm gave me a couple of weeks of rainwater for my garden.
What sort of worked:
The green and yellow bean plants produced a lot in a small space. However I only had six plants so even though each plant produced a lot, there was never enough for a real meal of beans. The beans got tossed into whatever I was cooking and so I found out fresh beans in a curry or stew is just dandy. I planned on using my beets just for beet greens but they grew faster than I planned. The leaves were bitter quickly in the season so I have quite a few beets. My two cucumber plants were a surprise. One that was on the sunny side of the garden space in the big pot produced over a dozen cucumber and is still growing like crazy and will likely produce until frost. The other, getting only a little less sun and in the smaller pot did very poorly and never produced a single fruit. Lesson learned, cucumbers need full sun and the big pot. The large red pepper plant did not do well. It produced two enormous peppers, fell over and laid there for weeks before the red started showing. Lesson there is smaller fruits mean lots more of them in a container.
What failed: I now know zucchini plants need to have the male and female flowers to cross pollinate. My one plant did marvellously well producing one glorious bloom after another, one at a time, alternating male and female so at no point did I get the required fertilization resulting in fruit. My eggplant is only now producing blooms. I fully expect frost will get it before I get any eggplants. Next year I will put in two zucchini and forget about the eggplant. The pole beans and snow peas all died from white mould before producing anything. I guess I need resistant strains or I have to give up on those. I could plant more green and yellow beans instead. The potatoes did not do well in the pot. The plants grew like crazy, towered over the other stuff and then dried out too fast and died. They need a bigger pot or I need to find a dwarf variety. Plus they need to be away from the other stuff.
Final tally-I think cost wise I about broke even in terms of money spent with the salad greens pushing it all up to the top. Taste wise, of course, we came out way way ahead. I certainly got a lot of pleasure from having my wee garden. One nice little unexpected bonus was the tiny garden gave everyone an excuse to drop by and chat me up. I am a shy person, and I don’t do well with deliberately reaching out for the purpose of meeting people. However the garden meant I always had something to talk about and I was outside to do it. Many people commented on my cheerful little garden with the bright windsock and the nice little welcome sign. My garden brought pleasure beyond just for me. I will do it again next year. I am almost out of stored kitty litter too which is a good thing because we head south in two months.