Gardening Tips: Gardening resolutions; evaluating the 2021 gardens | Columnists | – Hudson Valley 360

Gardening Tips: Gardening resolutions; evaluating the 2021 gardens | Columnists | – Hudson Valley 360

By the time we finally become accustomed to writing 2021 on checks and elsewhere, we need to remember to start writing 2022!

I am actually better at remembering what year it is, then what day of the week it is.

I always remember Mondays and Thursdays, because that is when I play in my softball league.

Wednesdays, I try to write these columns and weekends are when I get to visit the family.

Somehow, decades seem to pass like years, once you get to be 60. Perhaps the biggest downside to aging is the inevitable passing of friends and family members.

Cherish the old people in your life, because no one is immortal and you will miss them sooner than later.

January is a good time to evaluate what worked and what did not work in our gardens this past year. It is also a good time to reflect on future plans.

One of my favorite sayings is “A Society grows great, when old men plant trees in whose shade, they will never stand.”

I resolve to do exactly that this spring and hope that someday my Grandkids will stand in that shade and think of me.

The past two years have been filled with COVID fueled anxiety and I am afraid that 2022 does not look much better in that regard.

I expect that people will spend more time gardening at home and less time in crowded bars, restaurants, airports and other public places. In general, that is a good thing!

The mental, physical and emotional rewards of gardening are well documented. It offers challenges for all skill levels, from novice to well experienced. I find it amusing to see highly talented, highly paid, professional, executives struggling to grow a tomato crop for the first time!

Gardening can be a challenging, humbling experience and sometimes we all need to be challenged and humbled.

I had a great garden in 2021, thanks to ample rain, warm temperatures and plenty of free time to get things done in a timely manner.

My eight “Big Beef” tomatoes performed as well as they always do. I also planted two “Sweet 100” cherry tomatoes in a large pot that kept me well supplied until frost. Next year I would like to find an earlier cherry tomato that is more suited to container culture than “Sweet 100” or “Sungold,” my two favorite varieties.

Suggestions are welcome! Free seeds are even more welcome!

I had excellent onion, garlic, beans, asparagus, peppers, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers and winter squash crops, but voles ate most of my potatoes.

I planted beets and carrots too late to get any substantial yield. I mulched them with four inches of straw in November, before I headed south and I hope they might survive the winter and greet me with fresh carrots and beets in April!

I learned that it is possible to have a non-stop crop of scallions all summer long, simply by planting some store bought scallions in a sunny window box in April or May and cutting off the tops as needed. In a week or two, new top growth will replace what you …….