Hmmm... the lessons I learned this summer are simple ones:
1) Put in an irrigation system during the planning stages.
Soooo important this year. With a record drought and record high temperatures this year, I would not have a garden left if I could not water it consistently and thoroughly.
2) Compost is the best!
I'd heard all about this compost stuff, and finally(!) decided to give it a try. After adding to the pile for a year, I had enough compost for the area in my garden with the very worst soil. (I'm talking soil like concrete!) The plants there did better than any in my entire garden! I know it is all due to the compost, and I am a believer now! Try it!
3) No matter the weather, when you are supposed to start the vegetable garden, do it!
Surely I will remember this lesson next year!!!?
4) Mulch, mulch, mulch.
I know this one. But I still have a hard time mulching my entire garden. Perhaps this lesson should be: don't have too big a garden!
These are not great epiphanies in the gardening world. These are the fundamentals of gardening. I guess it just takes a while for (some of) us to learn to do what we're told!