Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2009 Garden Recap

I was asked recently, "I too have been drooling over the seed catalogs. So...out of everything you grew last year what will you not be growing this year?"

Like New Year resolutions it's good to look back at the garden and evaluate what worked and what didn't and why. Is it worth taking another stab with a variety of something or is it best to know when to fold 'em? I would say there's a few things that I will not be planting again. Out of the 45 or so varieties of fruits and veggies that I'm am growing these will not make it back into the garden.... this year at any rate.

LETTUCE
Any varieties of the bright green loose leaf lettuce in the spring. The buggies *adore* them. I can grow a freckled red and green lettuce that tastes just as sweet and the slugs and snails could give a poop less about it. Heh. Since I have the seeds, and it seems a waste to NOT try to plant them) I'll save them for the fall when the soft bellied beasts are scarce.

WINTER SQUASH
Fairytale squash and pumpkin. While these are two delightful varieties the bugs once again loved them. The pumpkin came out er, marbled with gnawed in little tracks. The squash has been good but I have way too much of it, far more then I'm eating and well, we're just not consuming enough to justify it's existence in the garden next year. Plus I'm "losing" a bed to the apple tree this year so I don't have the space even if I wanted to keep growing winter squashes.

CUCUMBERS
The only reason I even attempted to grow these is because Sophie love pickles. I was hoping that they'd come ripe all at once and I could make a big batch of pickles. However, despite three failed attempts to get them to grow in my garden I did get four plants to finally live and they were sparse indeterminate producers. Also, no one likes cucumbers! lol... So, fail.

TO BE OR NOT TO BE, THAT IS THE QUESTION

POTATOES
I may or may not grow potatoes. I do love the smell of the flowers but they take up a lot of room and I had trouble with some varieties. If I do find a spot for them I will most likely grow Russet and Yukon Golds. I made THE BEST potato leek soup with the ones from the garden last year. I'll also have to work a little harder at the taters since I kinda ignored them more then I would've liked. If I can figure out where to put a potato box I'd grow them for sure.

SUMMER SQUASH
Maybe, maybe not. This got hit really hard with powdery mildew last summer. It might be worth it if I can keep more on top of trimming it up and finding an organic solution to the mildew.

BEETS
I'm not sure, I had such trouble growing these... since I have seeds I might give them another try but for whatever reason I couldn't get them to get bigger then my pinky nail before they keeled over. Too much water? Sometimes I do like the watering can a bit too much!

WORTH THE TROUBLE
Other crops did give me some trouble but I like them enough to make it worth giving it another go.
Artichokes: bugs and fungal issues.
Garlic: fungal issues, but I also moved them around too much while still trying to build garden beds so they should stay really put this time around.
Roma Tomatoes: I had some blossom end rot but over all once the water schedule was tightened up this improved dramatically and I did get a good second round of lovely tomatoes.
Spinach: Is in the realm of beets (can't get it much beyond the sprout phase) but since we love to eat it I'm determined to get it to grow.
Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower: I only planted these in the fall and didn't have much success because I think the planting time was off. I need to figure it out better this year. The cold came too quick for them. I'm hoping that a spring planting will treat them better. I love brassicaceae veggies.
Onions: I think my problem with the onions was just getting a late start. I also need to check the seedling temps so they get the right start. They hardly bulbed at all. I had much better luck with blub sets but even then I had a few flower. Zoinks. I thought onions were supposed to be easy!
Hot peppers: I learned my lesson - less water for success!

OUTSTANDING CROPS
These will have a place in my garden for as long as I can stand to grow them. They were vigorous, resistant to disease and pests and were super tasty.
Sweet corn: Easy to grow, sweet and a good producer.
Peas: I don't think I could ever grow too many peas. These are wonderful for snacking on straight off the vine. Even Sophie was eager to pick 'em. (along with the blueberries and strawberries)
Green Beans: Also easy to grow and vigorous. We got a steady flow of beans, enough for fresh eating and canning.
Radishes: If anything these were too easy to grow! lol... we could barely eat them all.
Sweetheart Grape Tomatoes: Also a wonderful producer and fantastically sweet and perfect for snacking out of the garden, roasting, salads, etc. I think this was my favorite of all the plants I grew in 2009.

6 comments:

Ribbit said...

Hey! Good to hear you again. I love your reasons for growing and not growing. You've tried and you know what works. You'll have a great garden this year.

Engineeredgarden said...

There are many things I won't grow again either. I swore I wouldn't try potatoes again, but bought some seed potatoes today. UGH! I couldn't help it! They were just sitting there looking at me.

Annie's Granny said...

It's difficult for me to decide what to grow and what not to grow, as I seem to want it all. I've decided pumpkins will be one crop I'll bypass this year, as they took up so much room. So did my winter squash, but we enjoyed each one of those, so it will be grown again. I'm with you on the summer squash (powdery mildew) and the hot peppers (mine were sweeter than sweet bells).

Just Jenn said...

Oh EG, we've all been there! lol... I hope I don't succumb during my next visit to the nursery. (Probably will though - heh)

Just Jenn said...

Granny, I think anyone with a small yard will have a hard time picking and choosing. I think I'll always want to save some space for both good old standbys as well as getting to try a few new one's. I'm giving up on pumpkins this year but I did find a wonderful very small winter squash that I have to find space for.

Stefaneener said...

Good to read this. I love seeing what works well for others and what doesn't -- always instructive.