Some snaps of this year’s bountiful harvest!

Fresh potatoes! Yum yum! After you’ve had home grown, you’ll never be satisfied with store bought.

If you don’t have much land or good soil, might want to try some of those collapsible grow bags. Handy items, and easy to clean out if whatever you’re growing gets a fungus and needs disinfecting.

We grow ours in raised beds, and get two harvests a year.

The end of veggie growing season can look grim, so this year I planted lots of marigolds, zinnias, and other beauties toward the front of the veggie rows. Hurricane season knocked these around a bit, but they popped back up, and bloom still.

Not only did the zinnias grow up to six feet tall, but the scent of the flowers discouraged voracious herbivores. Many critters get confused by or dislike certain flowers. We had as many flowers as we liked for bouquets, and are still getting them by the armload.

The flowers attracted swarms of hummingbirds, butterflies, and many types of bees, which benefit the veggies as well. Quite nice to drive up our .25 mile avenue and see this big row of flowers.

I cut back on the number of tomatoes I planted, but with better management, increased my yield. Love heirloom tomatoes!

If you can only grow one variety of tomato, I recommend the Tomande hybrid, pictured here.

This was disease resistant, tasted of heirlooms, and had very high yields. I will definitely grow this again next year. As you can see, we got a bit of fungus on these plants, as one might expect from a very rainy summer! But last year our tomatoes petered out in July. It is almost October, and we are still getting good fruit.

mmmMMMMmmmm home made pasta sauce! We grow our own herbs, onions, celery, etc. Everything except the salt, wine and garlic.

Joyous abundance! All of these magnificent flowers and veggies came out of roughly $1.5 per pack worth of Burpee seeds. Most of the garden was planted for less than $20.

Sunflower seeds are more expensive, but with gorgeous results like these burgundy beauties, they are more than worth it! These flowers are such a deep color they appear almost black, and have a velvety texture.

These monsters grew about ten feet tall and produced enormous heads which delighted the goldfinches. As the summer wears on, the heads get heavy and topple over. Most of the birds can’t hang down to feed, so we take off the entire seed head to save for winter bird feed.

This beauty is “Strawberry Blonde”. This is the first year I’ve tried a variety of sunflowers, and now would not have a garden without them. We’re thinking of planting an entire field of them, they are so gorgeous. If you’re in a rural area, you’ll have to plant lots. Deer love them when they are young and tender.

Every year the garden expands a bit, but also gets easier to manage as I organize, restructure, and learn from my mistakes. I enjoy every minute of it, except, perhaps, a few weeks in high summer during the worst of the heat! The weeding chores really got away from me, and I don’t feel guilty about it, either!

Come back later for more pics from my garden, and some recs on tools and products I think you will like.

I tried different types of seeds this year, such as the Tomande hybrid I mentioned. This would be a very good tomato for any gardener, but especially for the novice who doesn’t have a lot of time or tools to struggle with funguses and other nasty garden surprises. But the real winner was the Roma bean. Holy cow. HUGE yield, super easy to grow, and we canned 60 jars! Not bad from $3 worth of seed!