January 3, 2010

2010 - New Year, Fresh Start

2009 was a disappointing year for the garden. Too much rain, not enough heat, and plants that suffered not only the inclement weather, but my neglect.

The Good

Basil: I grew two plants among my row of tomatoes and peppers. Both did very well. I harvested leaves several times throughout the summer and it always grew more. I never know if I'm supposed to let it flower or not. It did, and I never noticed a big difference in flavor or texture. At the end of the season, I made a big batch of pesto and froze it in ice cube trays.

Cucumbers: I had cukes coming out my ears! I grew a pickling and a slicer. The rain, however, made them GINORMOUS (is that a word?) very quickly. I would harvest them for fear of them rotting on the vine only to have them rot in my kitchen before I could do anything with them. I made a batch of dill pickles (mushy) and a batch of sweet relish (delish!).

Lettuce: The romaine, to be specific. I started seeds indoors, perhaps too early, and set them out in spring. They took awhile to get a foothold, but once they did it was well worth the wait. The romaine was sweet and crunchy. It acted like a cut and come again variety, with almost another full head growing after the initial harvest.

The Bad

Tomatoes: Too much rain. Too much fungus/blight/whatever. Poor support system. Poor spacing between plants. I tried to cram way too much in the space I had allotted. Don't get me wrong, there were a few triumps. The Big Beef Beefsteak was a winner. Both plants grew big and tall and provided with plenty of slicers. I was able to harvest a few Pink Berkley Tie-Dye and Black Cherry tomatoes. Both were delicious. The supposed return of the Black Krim was no return at all, just another Big Beef. The plants I set out later in the season did very poorly. By the time they set fruit, temperatures were dropping and the fungal/blight/terrible-ness had set in. I ended up pulling my Dwarf Red Hearts, Granny Cantrells, and Opalka without tasting.

Brussels Sprouts: What a waste of space! I realize that my timing was WAY off on these suckers as I had planted them in the ground in April. They grew sprouts, but they were tiny and by the time fall came around the bugs had devoured the plants. A wasp had taken up residence inside of one.

Peppers: The bell peppers took forever to set fruit. I think I harvested three small, boxy peppers. The hot peppers didn't even survive transplanting.

Beets: Tiny, small, woody.

The Mediocre: Fair harvest/Okay taste

Pole Beans
Swiss Chard

So what's new for 2010? I'm not sure yet. The catalogs are piling up on the kitchen table. Hopefully a better arrangment, support, and rotation of crops.

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