Monday, September 10, 2012

Things I've learned from gardening

Recommended outfit for chopping hot peppers. Seriously.
You'd better make sure you have the energy to process/preserve the food you're growing.  And you'd better have a backup plan if, say, one round of canning does not go well.  (Yes, I had jars that didn't seal, so I froze those tomatoes.)

When chopping hot peppers, wear gloves.  But be prepared for your hands to sting and feel hot for hours--or even a day--afterward, anyway.

Oh, you think thick layers of mulch will defeat the weeds? That is SO CUTE.

Some of those weeds are edible.  However, if you're going to point that out, make sure you're known as a pain in the rear end foodie, because then everyone will think you're being charming and green.

Some critter has a thing for taking one bite out of a tomato and leaving it on the vine.  Just take it with you, stupid animal!

When planning on planting a winter garden, it's a good idea to check on the best time to sow the seeds, lest you forget and realize it's too late.  I'm just saying.

Cutting plants back seems counter-intuitive at first.  Only at first, then you see how much better the plant (and the fruit) does.

It doesn't matter how much bug spray I wear, or chili peppers and garlic I eat, mosquitoes love me.  Apparently I'm a well-sought after delicacy.

You get way more sanguine about losing crops when you don't rely on them to eat.  But it's still disappointing.

It's very easy to go overboard in the late spring and plant more than you'll eat or need.

It's also easy to focus only on the crops you're familiar with.  Next year, I'm going to diversify more--maybe try melons, chard, kale, mustard greens, turnips, among others.

You cannot start seedlings if you have a cat.  Trust me on this one.

Coyotes are supposed to eat rodents.  The ones around here have been laying down on the job.  Well, given their size and their interbreeding with red wolves, it's more likely they're going over white tailed deer.

Peppers take a long, long time to turn red.

No critters try to eat hot peppers.  Yet.


  1. Sounds like the voice of experience, Pamela. Getting in there and getting our hands dirty is a sure fire way of figuring things out. I too wish those critters, and specifically a squirel, would take the whole tomato with him when he does that. We finally just went ahead and picked all of ours because he would not leave them alone. lol
    Great Post! :)

  2. Ah, the voice of experience. The great thing about gardening is that every year you learn something new. Sounds like you learned a boatload this year!

    I grew corn once...just *once*, 'cause I had a raccoon that would take a nibble out of *each* ear and just go on to the next one. What prompted this behavior (as opposed to just eating the one G-D ear) is beyond me, but it was just too disheartening. So I share your pain.

    As an aside, I have to remember to not have a full mouth of coffee reading your blog. You are just too funny, sometimes. You almost got me this morning. Luckily, I was between gulps, when I laughed!

  3. It's squirrels here who are the pests. And it's not tomatoes they're after but the apples. They'll knock an apple off the tree, take two bites, then leave it. I'll pile up all the bit into apples for them when they return, but will they eat those? Of course not! They want fresh fruit, each time.