Broccoli did better than ever this year. I planted a lot, because for the first time I had enough space in the garden to put in as much as I wanted. The main heads were quite small, but they have produced tons of side shoots and are continuing to do so even now! The varieties I planted were Fiesta, Tendergreen and Blue Wind. Loved them all!
Green beans have done particularly well this year. Like snap peas, I really have never had a bad year with beans, but this year they have been better than ever. I didn't think it would be that way at first, because the first large bed of beans I planted didn't sprout, or those that did quickly died. I still don't know what happened, but think I must have planted too early, because the next planting, in the same bed, from the same packet of seeds did grow and those plants are still producing beans today! I have thirty bags of beans in the freezer and still enough fresh to eat green beans every day.
Cabbage did terrific! I love an early variety called Farao, which grows quickly and has very tender, tasty leaves. For storage I grew an heirloom variety from Baker Creek called Glory of Enkhuizen. These cabbages grew huge (probably the only large thing I grew this summer) and they were just beautiful and tasty too. The other storage one I grew was Bartolo. The heads were small and very dense. I only wish I would have the same kind of success with red cabbage.
Kale grew very well and is still doing well. I have some small fall-sown kale plants too, that are looking healthy and may be giving some fresh greens soon. I'm hoping they will overwinter and give us some of our first spring greens next year. The varieties I planted were Siberian, Red Russian, Winterbor and Lacinato.
Peppers have also been amazing this year. I don't know what I did right. That's the thing with garden successes, you don't always know what you did or didn't do that helped. Of course, there's no controlling the weather conditions. Last year the weather was similar I think, but my peppers were awful. This year the plants are huge and extremely productive. The best I've ever seen. And that's despite the very limited sunlight my garden gets. I can't even imagine how nice the garden would be if I had full sunlight. What a dream! Peppers I grew were Red Knight, Lipstick, Jimmy Nardello, Bridge to Paris, Peacework,and Ace. I think I'll also have to call the eggplant a success too. Well, the Swallow eggplants, anyway. I can't say enough how much I love that variety and I really hope I have no problem getting the seed for them next year, since I used the last of my Swallow seed this year. You'll hear me crying from here to California if they are not available next season!
Potatoes were a surprise success too. I didn't expect much, but ended up harvesting about four pounds more than last year, which was the first time I'd ever tried growing potatoes.
I grew some very healthy basil and shallots. They were both grown from seed and I was quite pleased with the results.
Well, that about covers what went really well in the garden this year. In Part 2 I will review what did OK but could do better. Part 3 will cover the failures. By the way, if this blog looks a little funky, it's because I still can't control the word processing that does crazy things and puts the words in places I don't want it to. Arg.