Friday, November 7, 2008
A review of this year's veggie garden
Overall, I'd call it a great success. We had a wet and cool summer. I rarely had to water. So, the tomatoes had less flavor than I like, but they were profuse as the picture above illustrates. Granted, we planted more than twice the plants we ever did before. I canned 60 quarts of tomato sauce, along with a few quarts of stewed tomatoes and an attempt at my own ketchup. I was very pleased with the San Marzano paste tomatoes I tried for the first time this year. I felt they produced much better than the Big Mamas that were our standard for pastes, and they had a better flavor. The Heirlooms did very well also. We grew Striped Germans, which are my favorite and may not ever be kicked out of that position, and Roses, which were quite good too. And, of course, we included a few plants of Sungold cherry tomatoes.
Despite the low temperatures, though, the heat loving plants, like eggplant, did fine. I will likely plant eggplant again although three individual plants was quite enough. The peppers could have done better but it was my fault that I planted that tall cosmos between them which crowded and shaded them. I won't do that again. And I had a complete failure with the tomatillos. Again my fault, I didn't get them started soon enough and frost hit them before the fruit was ripe.
The beans did fantastic. But next year I'm going to abandon the purple beans and go with all green. The purple was pretty but not as prolific and I thought the green beans taste better. Besides, cooking turns the purple beans green anyway.
Planting the carrots and onions together in the same bed seemed to work quite well. And even though I historically have a terrible time with cucumbers, I did manage to get a few this year.
Of course the zucchini did very well. I really enjoyed the variety I planted this year, Eight Ball. They are round and had a good flavor.
The new asparagus plants I put in got a good start and hopefully we'll be able to harvest them in a couple years. And I planted some garlic before preparing the garden for winter.