Harvest your rhubarb early in the fall
I pulled in the last of the rhubarb on 10/5/07. The 11 oz (312 g) brought my total for the year to 62 oz (1737 g), which is about what I harvested last year. October is a bit late, and I had to discard many stalks. Next year, I’ll need to get out there and harvest in September.
Prune and train your tomatoes
I was out in the garden during September, that’s when I took the last of the Gold Nuggets. I harvested 4 lb 5 oz (1950 g) on 9/15/07. That brings my total for the year to 17 lb 14 oz (8132 g). I learned a lot this year, but the most important lesson is to make the effort to prune and trellis your tomatoes. I wrote, back in July, about pruning my tomatoes and that I would do it in “baby steps.” Well, baby steps just didn’t cut it. Tomatoes grow fast and furious; you need to be out in those beds, with your hand pruners, a lot to keep them under control. I didn’t do that, and my Gold Nuggets, which are supposed to be self supporting, just flopped over onto the ground and spread out. This meant that a lot of tomatoes were in contact with the ground and/or covered by vegetation. A good trellising system would keep them off the ground and a pruning regimen would direct the growth. The result would be more fruit, less rot, and an easier time harvesting.
Switching hats: from gardener to winemaker
So lessons learned. Next year will be better. In the meantime, I should get about a gallon of rhubarb wine and a gallon of tomato wine. Most of my wine and mead will be from purchased fruit and honey, but these two batches, and the Oregano Wine, are from fruit, vegetables, and herbs that I grew myself. That’s the sort of home winemaking that I love.
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