Tuesday, June 30, 2009

If man could live by cucumbers alone.

The corn may be messed up, the okra may have gotten too big to be any good, but we have cucumbers.

I mean, we have more cucumbers than we know what to do with. Over the last couple days we have been hatching our plans for next year's garden. We have realized that we have more than enough cucumbers to fill our kids' pickle cravings, eat plenty of light cucumber and tomato salads, make some spreads for crackers, give away a ton and feed a few to the chickens.

The plan was to pickle the okra too, but with four or five plants we haven't gotten enough to pickle. My youngest loves pickled okra, I mean LOVES pickled okra, but we get a couple ripe pods, and then we have to wait until the next ones are ready--so by then the first ones aren't good anymore. We have to plan on lots ripe at the same time in order to get a jarful.

Selecting plants for your garden based on what you plan to eat or preserve is as important as what will grow. I have eight banana pepper plants that have cranked out piles of great peppers, but next year I will plant more bell peppers and poblanos and less of the banana peppers.

The radishes are a good example of having too much of something you don't really need. On occasion, I like a radish, but I don't eat 'em enough, so most of them have waited too long to be picked and have gone bad.

We definitely need to get our balance right of what to plant and when. Next year we will plant more rows of green beans and stagger the planting times so they produce over a longer period of time. We need to do as much planning as digging.

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