My first heirloom garden has been a learning experience.  And while I do think I’m learning, some days, I feel like no matter what I learn, it won’t matter.   I can’t help but think that if the weather next year isn’t identical to the weather this year, I’m hosed.   

Still, I’m moving forward with this in mind.  Everything I planted this year is right on top of each other.  So nothing has room to spread out, thrive, and get proper sun.  I think that is hurting all my veggies a bit. 

Next year, I’ll plant less.  If every seed I plant sprouts, I will pull out the weaker links to give more room to the healthy plants.   I’ll consider using slightly different types of soil for different plants.  My neighbor told me early on that rhubarb likes really good compost.  He planted his that way.  His rhubarb is beautiful, healthy and about twice the size of mine.   Next year I’m going to put a pole in the center of the garden and use one pole for all my beans to climb up around and share instead of eight individual poles that barely hold one plant upright. 

What was my biggest lesson so far this year?  It takes a lot of time to keep a garden going healthy and strong.  When you get delicious veggies it feels completely worth it.  When your broccoli bolts you wonder why you bothered and then resign yourself to do better next year. 

It has definitely been worth it, but it is no doubt a labor of love.