Maister's garden: the year in review
An interesting year with the usual mix of sucesses and disappointments, though, this year saw more disappointments than most.
pumpkin - first attempted was a success!
beans - beans, beans and more beans! A bumper crop of bush beans (wax and green). Pole beans got off to a late start but provided a most prodigious harvest by August!
onions - grew to a nice small/medium size ideal for cooking!
dill - enough to see us through to next spring!
zinnias - I honestly thought I'd be counting these among the failures because bugs gnawed away 90% of the foliage in late-spring, but they ended up bouncing back and have been flowering beautifully the last month
tomatoes - didn't plant enough of 'em but the ones I did turned out a tasty albeit modest harvest
spinach - again, didn't plant enough and lost a few that sprouted but overall the ones that made it were tasty
cabbage - planted five in April and four of 'em died within a week. Bought replacment transplants and they are heading now (but kinda small still). The one original cabbage that survived ended up producing a bowling ball sized head which we used for our Oktoberfest party
lettuce - four plants produced sufficient quantities for about a half dozen salads - coulda got more but didn't harvest enough and it went to seed after a while.
cucumbers - planted mid-June and are ending the season with a single 12 inch long vine
green peppers - planted right on time and got NO fruit the entire season!!!!! >
New Zeeland spinach - as usual croaked shortly after sprouting
spaghetti squash - produced a baseball sized gourd and the plant withered ???
corn - bugs destroyed about 80% of the crop. The few ears we managed to salvage were tasty, though.
peas lost 90% of the crop to moles within 30 days of planting > > >
Big discovery this season was how much tastier pole beans are than bush beans. Unless you've grown them in your own garden or specifically bought pole beans at the farmers market you've probably only eaten bush beans your entire life - I know I have. Bush beans were originally developed/hybridized so that farm machinery could harvest all the knee high plants in one harvest and what you buy at the grocery store are bush beans, but I'm convinced something was lost flavor-wise when they developed bush variety beans. Pole beans are great for home gardens because they provide a continual small harvest from about mid-summer up until first frost. Just six or seven plants will provides sufficient harvest for a small family to have beans for dinner a couple times a week during this time period.