|The Rose of Alabama|
Mistake #1: Don't plant what you don't want to eat. I planted all kinds of peppers* this year, mostly in an effort to see what grew best here. Unfortunately, the one that grew best is not one that I like to eat: banana peppers. Also, that accidental deer corn is pretty harsh. The chickens enjoy both, so there is that...
Mistake #2: Shade trees make shade. A few years ago we planted some oaks south of the back raised beds, and for years they broke up the sun just enough to avoid scorch. They are now so large that I either need to remove them or move the beds. I'm moving the beds.
Mistake #3: Container planting gets expensive. Unlike dirt, which you get to re-use every year, potting mix is a once-or-twice (at most) product that then needs to be added to the garden or composted. There was an enormous difference in the results of my "first year" and "second year" containers. However, buying potting mix in October is one way to reduce the costs substantially.
Mistake #4: If you plant your squash-type plants late summer in an effort to avoid squash bugs, they will likely fall prey to powdery mildew.
Mistake #5: Don't plant grape vines on the shady side of the post you want them to ascend, even if it's much more convenient to do so.
Still, it was a pretty good year for potatoes and tomatoes and a great year for cukes, garlic, raspberries, and herbs of all sorts. Of the tobacco plants I kept, I got a few pounds of leaves for hanging in the barn, though I have enough seeds left that I didn't bother to save any.
Next year's plans are already on the move. On the back yard cinder block beds I am expanding from six 12'x4' beds to four 25'x4' beds and moving everything to the field south of the house. I'm going to try planting horseradish as an annual instead of just letting it go wild. I'm going to plant only Roma tomatoes next year, as those seem to be the best for salsa and sauces. Finally, the die sales have provided enough fiscal overage that I might get to put in a small greenhouse. The problem there is that I'll have to water much more frequently, for which I'll likely need a second well first. My hundred-year-old, hand-dug cistern is reliable, but I don't like to push it too hard.
Oh, the woes of prole self-sufficiency.
* Well, not ALL kinds. I didn't grow jalapenos, but I will need to next year, as my current supply will run low this winter.