Top 10 Gardening Ideas From 2011

Gardening, DIY projects, and recipes – these are my passions that I’m so happy to be able to share with you all here at AOC. And finding like-minded readers who I can learn more from and who always inspire me has been a HUGE benefit since starting this blog. Thank you!

So today we have the top gardening ideas from this last year- which hopefully will get us all looking forward to the new gardening season just around the corner. I don’t know about you, but I’m itching to start “reading” the stack of gardening catalogs that’s been calling to me for a couple of days now! It’s one of my favorite winter activities.

That and looking back at the garden from last year…

1. In January I shared how I plan my garden each year.  I’ve found the few minutes I take to rotate my crops and plan what I want to grow – and where – really pays off.

2. Seeds were in the news in February when I asked how you all felt about GMO (Genetically MOdified) seeds.

 3. I wrote about my history using season extenders during a February Tuesday Garden Party (which are usually the highlight of my week, by the way!). From the comments, it seems like row covers and plastic are the two most popular.

4. I shared some of my favorite tried-and-true plants in March.

5. Also in March I did some of my earliest flower bed preparations ever when I showed the 5 Easy Steps To Organic Weed Control I do as part of a spring “Spruce Up” party.

6. And then I confessed to changing the way I plant potatoes – but only slightly – in order to thwart the slugs that had decimated my bed the year before. The update is that it worked!! I had a bumper crop of potatoes – from healthy-looking plants – and we are still eating the potatoes I stored in a cooler.

7. My Asparagus Experiment of 2011 worked…sorta. I never did cut the 3rd bed down – I found I was just too busy harvesting and putting up all the produce coming from the garden in August and September. I think I’ll try just dividing in two this year for a spring and fall harvest.

8. I was sad to learn about Clematis wilt in June. Right when the plant was full of buds, too. Sigh. On a happy note, when I cut down the runner beans I grew over the summer in it’s place in November, I found one long sprout coming from the ground- so maybe it will rebound!

9. As the August garden grew, so did the cucumbers – up the simple trellis Brian made for me. Did you know there are five good reasons to grow cukes on a trellis?

10. Finally, I waited until October to share with you why I love Emerite Pole Beans, a variety not grown by many people. Why did I wait? I didn’t plan it (typically), but I thought it was a great time to show how I was still getting tender green beans when other varieties were all done for the season. Though that’s just one of the reasons I love growing this bean.

Do you have some great gardening ideas from 2011? I hope you’ll share with us in the comments!






  1. says

    I have to tell you, I am a new subscriber to your blog. I kind of stumbled upon, no literally, I guess I “Stumbled Upon” it several weeks ago, and loved what I read! These “top ten” entries are allowing me to read back over the year and enjoy past entries as well.
    Thank you for taking the time to do this :)

  2. Tonya @ My Homey Haven says

    Love all the tips that you’ve shared and I’ll be back to read them all in length. This will be my first year having a garden- other than growing tomatoes and a few cucumbers. I’m really excited and can’t wait for my gardening catalogs to come in so I can start ordering a bit here and there. I have a feeling that browsing through my catalogs will also be one of my favorite winter pasttimes. :)

  3. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    Tonya- Just picture both of us curled up with a cup of tea and our catalogs! 😉

    Barb- Ah! Fedco is the one catalog I don’t think I get. I’ll have to ask to have one sent- I’ve heard good things about it.

    Cindy A.- Thank you- so glad to have you with us! Nice to know- though I think I might be pushing it with some readers who are thinking, “where’s the new stuff, Jami?” :-) Soon!

  4. Katie says

    I LOVE Emerite pole beans. I’ve been growing them for 20 years (in roughly the same spot…not recommended, but that’s how my garden worked out). I’ve never had to do successive plantings. One planting in late May will continue producing well into September if kept picked. My kids groan…not beans AGAIN! Anybody having problems locating this variety, try Pinetree Garden Seeds at

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