Things I Learned in the Garden This Year
Summer Harvest Haul
Season isn’t over yet, I still have carrots, beets, greens, and maybe some broccolis left growing, but I made this list so that I remember for next year:
- Grow 2 rounds of maters so you have some left at the end of September (this lesson was 2 stage. 1. All of our maters died super early from blight and 2. we checked out a new farmers market down in Old Salem this weekend and there were 3 booths with maters so I asked them how they did it)
- Grow 3-4 rounds of summer squash. (This one I owe to Blair of Black Sheep Family Farm. I always just thought you planted your couple of plants and they raged the whole summer and you were overloaded with squash. Now I know they all eventually succumb to squash bugs and downy mildew so its best to keep new ones rolling,)
- We don’t really like/eat snap peas. I thought we did. We all thought we did. But they were the most frequently left uneaten veggie of the season.
- Must cloche all broccolis, tatsoi, cabbage, and greens. (Even my fall crops have been very eaten by bugs.)
- Carrots need constant moisture to germinate and it’ll be a miracle if I ever grow a carrot as big as those ones you buy in the 5lb bag at the store. But I’m trying!
- Best tasting tomato on the planet: Cherokee Purple (hat tip to Blair again)
- Best tasting sweet pepper on the planet: Carmen (Blair)
- Zinnias are the bomb diggity, they grow and flower and flower and grow. Some are over 6 feet tall!! Next year we need something purple for the bouquets though.
- Plant more of all the herbs then I think we could ever possibly need. Must haves: Basil (for pesto), Parsley (for tea and drying), Dill (for pickles), Cilantro (for every salsa recipe).
- Find some mini sweet & sour gherkin melon cucumbery things to grow. (We had some at the new market this past weekend and they were awesome. Looked like watermelons the size of grapes.)
- Need to grow lots of small cukes for pickling for Hank. As many as I can grow, I think he would eat. Plus they are super easy to make. Plant 3 rounds.
- Grow regular old plain jane jalapenos for salsa. Dried ones can be roasted for chipolte.
- Peppers especially would have done better with regular water and a cloche even in summer just to keep them warmer. The ones in the hoop house produced a LOT more.
- Grow leeks to overwinter as an alternative to onions. Start them in June?
- We like collards. Tasty cooked green that seems like it should be relatively easy to grow. Screw spinach.
- When you have a lot of eggplants, even though you don’t love eggplants, you figure out how to eat and store a lot of eggplants. Three plants is plenty. The hoop house was perfect for them. The long skinny ones taste less bitter/weird then the fattys.
The Garden Entrance, nearing Fall