A personal record of what's going on in my Northern Michigan zone 4 gardens. I use raised beds and grow organically. Nothing fancy--just trying to garden with nature in mind.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Final Post for 2012- WInners and Losers This Year

 I think 2012 will go down as one of the STRANGEST growing years I've ever had.
Some things were so early, and yet other things were so late.
I've never had a better year for Dahlias. They were stunning.  I wish I had enough time and space to show you all the different varieties and just how drop dead gorgeous they were.

I wouldn't have thought this year was good for them at all. We had lousy rainfall, too high temperatures in July. Lousy lousy. But, I guess maybe that was for ME, not the Dahlias.

The sidewalk border was a HUGE disaster. We were gone for the month of June and the deer mowed everything down, time and time again.  It wasn't until a very dear reader wrote with a solution that I was able to get this resolved.  Grated up Irish Spring soap---I soaked down my plants with it.....and the deer went away. Hooray. So---things finally bloomed, although they are SHORT SHORT SHORT.  Oh well, better short than never....hahahahha!

Best combo----Agastache Desert Sunrise, Agastache Blue Fortune and Rudbeckia Goldsturm

This is a combo I'm not sure of. Love the Agastache cana and the Perovskia.  Love the sunflowers. Just not sure about together.

 And  a new pairing--agastache cana with Gaura-Whirling Butterflies from seed.  Too bad an idiot that doesn't know how to use a camera (moi!) couldn't get BOTH in focus. You'll have to take my word for it---STUNNING!!

In the scummy pond bed, I LOVED the Cleome paired with Agastache Blue Fortune and a feather reed grass. Will do that again next year for sure.

Out in the vegetable garden, things were REALLY odd.  Had a great year for potatoes, green beans, onions, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli and garlic (though the heads were small).   It was a terrible year for carrots (almost no germination) and the cauliflower bolted in July's gawd-awful heat so NONE of that this year for the freezer.  My first year of failure on those. What a huge disappointment.
I also have NO pumpkins this year for decorating....but, I'm not home so I guess that's ok too. 
I tried corn for the first time--it worked well, I just didn't much care for the variety.  I'll try another kind next year.

Winning idea this year---LOTS of natives in with the vegetables. Seems all the pests LOVE milkweed and Goldenrod and left my vegetables alone. 

My first and LAST year of growing Great Northern Beans.  Oh, they grew and produced, but for all the work involved shelling these, it is SO not worth my time when I can buy ORGANIC soup beans for $2 a pound.  My time is better spent elsewhere.

The butternut produced well this year. I ended up with 15 to trade, but I did lose 5 more to splitting. I've never had that happen before.  Thoughts??

I grew my usual Copra onions for storage. No complaints there. BUT, I tried a variety sampler also and I won't do that again. Good for fresh eating....but they do not store well, and since I'm out on the road YET AGAIN, I had to give those all away.  I'm sticking with just Copra next year.

So, I have enough food stored. I'm glad. But, I have a lot of disappointments too. It's been a weird year.

I'm on the road for a final trip---a very very special trip. Not only is it our FINAL big trip EVER (hubby promised!) , but it is our anniversary.  I am taking a vacation from blogging for a bit. I am spending this final journey just enjoying this beautiful country of ours and giving hubby my full attention.  He certainly deserves that.

Best to all of you and thank you for all your wonderful ideas and suggestions and kind words. 
I'll be back spring 2013. Have a wonderful winter.