Some things to add to my do's and don'ts list for next summer:
- Don't be afraid to use some Sevin dust (after the plants have finished blooming) on the squash vines;
- Do space the garden boxes further apart. Consider some kind of climbing supports for the cantaloupe and cucumbers;
- Don't mix different types of plants in the boxes;
- Do be more diligent about tying the tomato plants to the stakes.
For all the rewards of gardening, it is also a lot of work. I think that sometimes, people who do not have gardens feel like homegrown vegetables have no cost. The extra tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash your gardening friends share with you aren't really free, however. It takes a lot of planning, sweat, and hard work to have a successful garden. Seeds, plants, soil, chemicals, mulch, fertilizer, and sometimes even water, must be paid for. We gardeners feel these cost are justified and that it is worth the expense to know where our food comes from. We like the ability to be able to enjoy our vegetables fresh from the garden. We have the freedom to choose the varieties of food we grow and eat, and the peace of mind that our harvest is safe. We like to share with our friends and neighbors because we are rightfully proud of our harvest. So, if you know a gardener who offers to share some gifts from their garden with you, be sure to remember the hard work behind the harvest, and smile because they are happy to share their harvest with you.