Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Garden Revies 2012 Part 1

The garden is certainly not finished yet and I hope to be harvesting at least into November, but I thought I would take a look back at this year's main growing season to review what worked, what didn't and what might make it in the future.
 Today I am reviewing what did well. Don't these photos look so green and lush? Spring and early summer seem like only yesterday and I sure miss that fresh new growth! Peas and lettuce were a great success this year. I have never had any problems growing a healthy batch of sugar snap peas and Oregon Sugar Pod II snow peas and this year was no exception. I tried regular shelling peas for the first time this summer and was very pleased with the results. I planted a mix of off the shelf peas this year, but next year I will look into ordering new varieties.
 Lettuce was another winner! I can't even remember the varieties I planted, but there were at least ten. For some reason Blogger uploaded these lettuce photos sideways (it's been doing that lately), but here are pictures of my Red Sails lettuce and Forellenschluss back in May when they were really taking off. Some other varieties that I do remember were Italienischer, Black Seeded Simpson, Australian Yellowleaf and a nice romaine called Coastal Star. All the lettuce did fantastic this year until the heat hit them in July and they turned bitter. I didn't have any luck with summer lettuce, but it is a challenge I will keep trying. My fall lettuce is coming along, but very slowly.

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.                                                                                          

7 comments:

  1. Wow. I should proof read the TITLE of the blog before I publish :-)

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  2. Sounds like you had a lot of successful plants this year!

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    1. Overall, my best garden yet, despite the "fails"!

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  3. Does sound like a good year. I was scanning your types to see if we can get them here in NZ. As I'm busy planning our summer garden. I hope I have luck with peppers - celery and capsicums I haven't got the hang of growing yet.
    Love Leanne

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    1. Leanne,I love how you in NZ call peppers capsicums. Most Americans wouldn't know what that was, hee-hee. Though capsicums is more accurate! I would think your climate would be very good for them. Your garden produce always looks wonderful when you show the photos!

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  4. I think you have had a great gardening year and so wonderful to review and keep track! Hope you have another great one next year! Nancy

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    1. Thank you Nancy! The years just flow into one another anymore. Hope you are feeling better!

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