I planted a lot of veggies last year, and the results were disappointing. Of the four most significant reasons, all four were my fault:
1.) I mostly planted seed directly, except for tomatoes, late broccoli and late bell peppers. The indoor starts did reasonably well. Except for green onions, the seed did somewhere between total failure (beets) and almost OK (sugar snap peas and green beans).
2.) I didn’t fertilize, other a little at planting.
3.) I planted too much in areas with too little sun (even zucchini, which did come up and start to grow squash, did poorly and few squash grew large enough for eating).
4.) I believed AlGore about Global Warming, and it was a wet and cool spring and a cool summer. OK, I didn’t believe AlGore, but it was a cool spring and summer.
I can’t do anything about the weather, but I am going to try to learn from the other stuff I messed up on.
I just started (indoors) sugar snap peas, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers and spinach; and I planted green onion seed outside. Yes, I have a very nice growing season and climate here in Silicon Valley. I mixed some Miracle Gro 15-30-15 with the water I’ll be using to water the starts, and will use it when I transplant. Progress made on Lessons 1 and 2. I’m also going to make better use of areas that get good sun, so progress on Lesson 3.
Beyond that, a couple of things I figured out last year and this.
I planted last years sugar snap peas along an existing “cyclone”-style fence, using that to support the vines. I use my inclination to laziness creatively, :biggrin: .
I don’t throw away (or put in the recycling) the little plastic containers used for plant starts bought at the hardware store and garden store. I used those last year and again this year to do my own starts.
Hardware/garden store bought starts are convenient but expensive. One start costs about the same as 2 or 3 packets of seed. Doing your own costs little time and just a little more patience and planning.
I always plant 2, 3 or 4 seeds in a start container, to allow for duds, and better use the container. The quantity of seeds depends on the size of the container and the expected size of the plants when it’s time to transplant. At transplant, I gently separate the plants and plant with appropriate spacing.
So, any good, basic, tips for some one like me, just a year from near veggie gardening ignorance? I’m especially frustrated by my total lack of success - directly planted outside or as indoor starts - with beets. Also, I’d like to mildly irritate my neighbors with gifted veggie goodies, so any yield and quality tips?