This past weekend was hot, sticky, humid, and just horrible weather for working outside. My husband and I pushed ourselves for about 5 hours clearing out weeds and honeysuckle around our beloved Biergarden. I see the cluttered tangle of weeds all around and when I pull them and clear them all back, I’m instantly satisfied.
I have had a little garden next to my house for the past few years where I’ve attempted to grow vegetables. There have been some great successes and a quite a few failures. Radishes, as it turned out, didn’t really produce much for me and neither did carrots. Lettuce was awesome but we had way too much of it. We’ve had beans galore but couldn’t eat them all. Green peppers, zucchini and cucumbers always rock in my garden but again, too many! Oh! And there’s the “take care of it” part about the garden that kills me every time. I plant all the vegetables and get really excited about it and then I don’t take care of it like I should. I set myself up for failure by creating this huge plot with tons of plants, then it explodes, and I don’t manage it properly. The garden becomes a mess.
This year I thought I’d approach my vegetable garden in a more practical way and try something new. Instead of over-growing, I decided to pick two vegetables for the garden. I made a smaller plot for vegetables and used the free space to plant flowers instead which the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds have loved. I left enough room to change up the garden next year if I decide. A garden should make you feel happy and accomplished, not guilty for sucking at gardening.
I chose tomatoes and jalapenos this year and I think I chose wisely. My two tomato plants are bursting with tomatoes just waiting to ripen up. The jalapeno plants have been producing for weeks now and we’ve already enjoyed tons of them! We don’t feel overwhelmed with veggies and its nice to just grow what you know you’ll eat. The plants are pretty well contained and I’m glad that I didn’t plant a small farm’s worth of stuff that I don’t have the time to really take care for.
Any gardeners out there overwhelmed with too many vegetables? What do you do with the excess? Donate? Can? Grow less?