Summer 2009 Tally and Notes for 2010 (#2)

This is the second in a series of posts tallying the Spring and Summer harvest in lbs, success, and satisfaction, and noting recommendations for next year’s Spring and Summer garden.

  • Carrots

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The little carrots (Nantes) took a long time to grow (much longer than the packet advised) but in the end they shaped up nicely, and I harvested about 20 little ones (from 1 batch). More carrots are in the ground as we speak, and I’ll harvest them in the coming month.

2010: I will be growing carrots next year, for sure, but more of them, and they will have to go into the ground much earlier and in succession. The Winter hoop house is one place where I’ll be planting the first batch, as early as possible in Spring. I like the Nantes for daily consumption, but I will try some other, larger varieties as well for storing and as Winter crops.

  • Radishes

The radishes were a failure as they were almost all maggot eaten. I wasn’t to cut up about it, because no one in the household liked the two or three that made it. I planted them as companion plants anyway. Did they attract the maggots that would otherwise have eaten my carrots? Did they enhance the flavor of the potatoes and the chard?

2010: I’ll be using up the rest of the seed packet, again tucking them in here and there for companion planting, but I won’t be devoting whole square feet to them.

  • Eggplant

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These small eggplant (Applegreen) tasted fantastic, and there were no problems with the plants, no bugs or blight or anything. But they grew large and leafy and didn’t yield much, probably because of the dimness of our season. In all I harvested only 7 of these eggplants full-grown and 3 immature (but still yummy) ones.

2010: I will plant these again, in the Summer hoop house (= the Winter hoop house moved to four different beds in the middle of Spring), which will allow me to plant them earlier and to extend their season. I am also looking into a vining eggplant which may take up less space.

  • Onions

The onions were a total bust. None of those expensive onion sets grew, full stop: after months they were still the same size as when I put them in! At least the onions I grew from seed myself grew into spring onions, which were delicious, but too few to be weighed.

2010: Onions (along with potatoes and carrots) were supposed to be our main root cellar crop, and they are a basic ingredient in a lot of what we cook. So I will try onions again, but all from seed – the sets are too expensive. Maybe our soil is too clayey, so I’ll experiment with making it lighter.

  • Green beans

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The green beans (Provider and Maxibel) were a big success. Those plants had a rough start, being knocked down in the rains until I strung a net/mesh over them. But one they got going they were prolific and they kept on producing until the first frost wiped them out. Amie and I love harvesting them, and there was always enough for our dinner. And Amie loves eating them too – it’s the only vegetable she will readily eat (some of). From the first, sunny bed (3 x 8 feet)  which we called the “old bed” we harvested 7 lbs. From the smaller, “new”bed (2 x 8 feet) we put in much later in a less sunny spot we harvested 3 lbs.

2010: 10 lbs of green beans was impressive (I thought) but it was just enough for our daily consumption, and I had to buy extra at the Farmers Market for canning. Next year I’ll devote at least two full beds to them, though those beds will probably not be as sunny as our “old bed”. I will also put the netting on earlier to keep the plants from falling over in the rain. I also want to try more pole green beans, as a space saver.

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