Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Successes and Mistakes!

As it is every year, this year's garden is a mash up of wild successes and failures I'd rather not talk about. :-D But, since I like pain, lets talk about it.

It's starting to look like I harvested my Yukon Golds a little too early. I've lost over 10% of them in storage to rot. While hot humid weather might be at fault too, my garden support team thinks I might not have been patient enough in my harvesting. So, my Reds are still in the ground and will remain so for at least a week AFTER the vines die back. On the positive side, harvest was really good from the Yukons, and we've really been enjoying them. Size was good, flavor was excellent, I really can't complain, as once again I found them to be an easy crop to grow. I'm excited for my True Potato Seed experiment as well.

Kale and Turnips did great, maybe too great. We are not eating anywhere near enough kale, and I only planted a 3 foot row! Turnips are still overflowing my crisper drawer, and I don't know if we'll get them all eaten. So, perhaps I'll grow less of those two next year.

Related to the Kale, I planted my spring carrots too close to the Kale, and they got shaded out and really aren't doing too great. I'm not sure if I'll harvest anything from that row. Still holding out hope, but it might be a no-go.

Green (purple) beans did great, are still doing great, and the only complaint I have is that I didn't plant enough of them. :-) Might have to dig up more lawn next spring just so I can put in more green beans. I desperately need to get out and gather the seed pods that I've left on the bushes, as they are very done and about to be lost to rot.

My tomatoes are really coming into their glory. The vines are taller than me, literally 6.5" tall, the cages are starting to strain and it's a bit of a race to keep up with the harvest. I have made 3 batches of my roasted tomato sauce this past week. We ate one, and I canned the other 2, giving me 3 pints of summer goodness. As usual I didn't have enough of my stout cages to handle all the vines I planted. As usual, I made do. Every other vine got a stout cage. Those without cages got stakes, and permission to climb their neighbor's cage. One lucky Stupice vine got my old potato cage, that never got used for the vertical potato experiment. While it is admirably holding in the Stupice vine, I realized that the holes in the chicken wire are not big enough for my hands to get through, and not even close to large enough for ripe tomatoes to come through. So, I had to dive in from the top and reach all the way down to the ripe tomatoes. A bit undignified. Perhaps I won't use it for this purpose next year. Eventually I'd like to invest in some hog panels and steel posts to contain everything neatly. That's at least a 100$ investment though, maybe twice that. I imagine I'll just buy a few more sturdy cages and make do for awhile.
The Blossom End Rot has eased. I haven't seen any in the past 2 dozen tomatoes I've harvested.
6 Moonglow
4 Cherokee purple
6 "Amish Paste"
6 Stupice
I think my Amish Paste tomato seedling is a cross with something, the fruits this year are massive, close to twice the size of what I remember them being last year. Still tasty enough, and I don't think I'm going to complain about bigger tomatoes. Interesting though.

Onions were small this year, but everyone in my zone is saying that, so I'm convinced it was nothing I did wrong, just a rough year for onions. Garlic did great again, and the best heads will be replanted this fall.

Peppers were store bought plants, but have put out a half dozen or so bells already, recouping their price 3 times over. (Why are peppers so gosh darned expensive at the grocery store?) Wish I could figure out why I'm incapable of sprouting seedlings. Maybe someday I'll get it right. At least it gives me something to strive for. :-D

Greens and Herbs have done well as usual. I've done 2 full batches of basil in the dryer and lots of dried greens for pot-herbs. My basil is a little funny looking as I routinely grow both green and purple varieties, it appears as though they've crossed a bit and I had green basil with purple stripes on a couple of my basil plants. :-D

The zucchini is doing well enough in the flower bed, sitting peacefully next to some sage and the rhubarb. Only putting out male flowers right now, this seems to be the way of it every year and I don't know why. Hopefully it get's it's act together and puts on some female flowers in time for them to ripen before first frost. We'll just have to wait and see. I'll probably do it this way again next year, it's a convenient enough place for it.

I'll definitely need to increase the garden size next year, as the garlic that was grown in DSM this year will need space and I really would like more beans. Might try to put some winter squash in the south bed.

Anyway, I'm not done yet, I have at least one more month of prime tomatoes and I'm eagerly awaiting the sprouting of my fall crops. :-) Always learning though.

1 comment:

Jess said...

Failures you'd rather not talk about... oh, every gardener feels your pain there! And winter squash is not negotiable in my garden. :)