This year everything started with a lot of excitement and ended with a crash. Literally. The garden had been going well and kept me busy all summer until my participation came to a halt on August 23 when I fell from my horse. My injuries kept me out of the garden the remainder of the season. With a fractured left hip and right clavicle, I had surgery on the hip which kept me in a wheelchair for 11 ½ weeks before I could walk again. I couldn’t use crutches or a walker because of the injured clavicle, and because of the nature of the fracture, the doctor felt it best that I stay off the leg until the bone was quite healed. Four months after the injury it is still difficult to walk, but I’m slowly improving.
Needless to say, the timing wasn’t helpful for the garden. It was just about time to harvest most of what had been growing all summer. For two weeks after the accident, I was in the hospital & then rehab, and Tim was doing all the necessary house and ranch chores before and after driving nearly 4 hours round trip to visit me each day. During this time there was limited time for Tim to do all the chores, so some things were left behind. At one point we called a few neighbors to stop by and help themselves to whatever looked good in the garden. We just couldn’t deal with it all.
Besides not being able to harvest everything when we should have, I was unable to cook or preserve things as they came in. Some things were easy to pull up and put in storage, like the root vegetables. Then there was lettuce, cabbage, kale, chard and broccoli, which I was able to help with indoors after Tim harvested them. Later there were beans, peas, squash, potatoes, carrots, onions & garlic. Then there was all the fall bed cleanup and preparation for winter to do.
In addition to the outdoor garden, the greenhouse had been planted with tomatoes, peppers, some squash and a few other odds & ends I thought would do better inside than out. Tim was picking tomatoes and bringing them to me at rehab to add to my meals, which was nice. Before the accident I had started some seedlings to grow in the greenhouse in the fall, and Tim was able to get them planted while I was in rehab.
Tim did all of this without my help, which put a lot of his projects on the back-burner. He was great, and did it all! I did a lot of sofa supervision, at times with the help of our iPads. Tim would take his iPad to the garden, walk around and show me things on Facetime, and I’d be able to tell him what to do out there. That came in pretty handy!
It was a crazy time for us. I realized I just had to let go of wanting to reap all the benefits of my garden work. Some of the vegetables weren’t harvested in time, and were inedible. Many things were given to the ducks. At least I had the fun of planning & planting this year, and sometimes I think that’s just as enjoyable as the eating. I know, I’m weird.
This was our 2018 Garden Plan.
For 2018 I had decided to grow more of what grows well in this climate and nix some of the things that didn’t do so well in 2017. A few things I was determined to try again and I did so, like cauliflower. That was a bust. Some things didn’t do as well this year as they had in 2017, and I’m not entirely sure why. For the most part, things did not mature as quickly as the previous year. On the average, it was a bit warmer this summer, with less rainfall, which meant more watering on our part.
One thing I did differently this year was that I kept the shade cloth over the beds all summer. I didn’t roll it up on the nice days like I had done the previous year. On one occasion, the hail would have ruined everything had the shade cloth not been there. Perhaps less sunlight was responsible for the slower growth of plants this year, so next year I will allow more sunshine in by raising the shade cloth on days I don’t expect hail, and see if that helps things grow more quickly.
Please see the various fruits & vegetables listed on this page to see descriptions of how well everything is doing in our garden.