Mid-November. Time to wrap up the garden for the season. We had some hits this year and some misses, too. Here’s how our garden did this year.
In mid-March, we planted some onion sets, some radishes and turnips, and broadcast some lettuce seed. I was over-optimistic about the soil being warm enough for lettuce. The seed rotted in the ground, of course.
In early April, we started these plants in flats inside, from seed – a good deal of which was more than a year old:
Peppers: Pasilla Bajo, Anaheim, and Cubanelle
Tomatoes: Roma, Brandywine, unknown yellow variety, and Rainbow Blend cherry
Squash: Black Beauty zucchini, Waltham Butternut, Yellow Straightneck, and dark green zucchini
Kohlrabi (Early White Vienna)
Cabbage: Red Acre, January King, and Alcosa Hybrid
Brussels Sprouts (Long Island Improved)
Eggplant (Black Beauty)
Kale (Red Russian)
And just to move out the old seed, some mixed hollyhock and echinacea.
All the peppers failed either failed to germinate or died during the seedling stage. We later purchased three pepper plants – of which we actually harvested only three peppers. Not a good year for peppers for us.
The summer squashes produced well. Although the butternut squash was slow to set fruit, we did eventually harvest about 10 pounds of smallish fruits. We had one sneak off into the tomato cages and was quite happy there.
The kohlrabi was an amusing success. I had never grown it before, so was unsure of what to expect from it. We had four or five plants, which we harvested, peeled the bulbs, sliced into sticks and pickled with a sweet pickle brine and spices. They were crunchy and tasty – a big win! The leaves were sautéed and eaten like kale or cabbage.
We’ve been virtually swimming in summer squash since mid-summer. At one point, I roasted a bunch of it and stashed cartons in the freezer – it will make a quick side dish during the winter months. As I write this – on November 18 – we’re down to our very last fresh zucchini. We had a colander full of fresh zucchini and tomatoes on the counter for many weeks.
Wrap-Up & Final Thoughts
We had a dud year for peppers, didn’t plant enough peas, never did get around to planting more lettuce, and planted more kale than we could eat. (We’ve been sharing with a neighbor.) The tomatoes did reasonably well – even though the brandywine was mostly a fail: they succumbed to blossom end wilt and fusarium wilt. I love the flavor of this tomato, but it’s clearly one we need to avoid in the future. The yellow tomatoes were outstanding. Wish I knew what variety they are! I planted seed that I’d saved from a previous years’ harvest and didn’t label fully.
The berries produced magnificently, as did the apples and pears.
Raspberries: 27 lbs.
Blueberries: 14 lbs.
Apples: about 75 lbs.
Pears: about 75 lbs.
We didn’t get any figs – although there were quite a few on the tree. No grapes at all this year, either. The post-Labor Day weeks of smokey skies really confused a lot of plants and they began autumn shut-down because of the change in light. Even our zygo cacti (“Christmas Cactus”) bloomed very early – perhaps because of the period of darkness they got in September.
We harvested quite a bit from the garden this year and still have some things plodding along: green onions and kale, and will harvest our Brussels Sprouts in time to enjoy them with our Thanksgiving Dinner next week.
Now, just to finish saucing those apples and pears . . . .