November 20, 2009. I would love to be growing salad greens and cilantro in outside beds as I have in the past, but it’s just not going to happen this year. The vegetable garden needs a major re-work that I hope to have at least partially done by spring, so outside of whatever I plant inside, growing edibles in Joene’s garden is done. So, with 2009 veggies tastes, smells, successes, and disappointments still fresh in my mind, here’s my 2009 veggie-wrap.
In spite of a very wet and very cold, slug-infested, and generally disease-prone growing season in my Connecticut zone 6 garden, I managed to grow enough greens to keep us from buying lettuce for a good 3 months, enough eggplant to keep our urges for eggplant parmesan fulfilled, plenty of hot peppers to can a few jars and ample sweet peppers for summer use, a bounty of beans for late summer meals, and cucumbers enough to eat fresh and pickle.
Here’s a list of varieties I planted – new to me in bold. Those with a Y will find a spot in next year’s garden, the few N’s will not, and those marked with ? may get another chance next year. And, while I planned to have photos of most of my veggies, my old computer had other ideas. Hence, few photos but lots of info.
Radish: both continue to be good performers.
- Cherry Belle – Y.
- French Breakfast – Y.
Snow Peas: tough year due to wet conditions.
- Carouby de Maussane has beautiful purple flowers and lovely, tender, flat, sweet pods. It’s as ornamental as it is good to eat – Y.
- Snowflake Pea Pods produced a few sweet pods in spite of a vole attack – Y.
Lettuce & Salad Greens:
- Buttercrunch has great flavor and grows reliably –Y.
- Winter Density has not grown well for me, but it may be just me – N.
- New Red Fire has fantastic color – lives up to its name – and great taste – Y.
- Blushed Butter Oak has sweet red-tinged leaves and grew well –Y.
- Oakleaf is a standard –Y.
- Tom Thumb grows tiny, tight, crispy heads. I may use it as a border in a perennial bed next season – love it –Y.
- Tatsoi; great flavor in salads and when sliced into thin strips and added at the last few minutes to cooked dishes – a good spinach (which grows very poorly for me) substitute – Y.
- Salad Burnet; will have to think about this – was not too thrilled with the flavor -?
- Ichiban produces multiple long, slender fruit on a 2.5 ft plant with purple stems and purple-edged leaves that match the skin of the fruit – very ornamental and good grilled –Y.
- Lavender Touch – lavender-tinged fruit with a mild flavor –Y.
- Red Beauty; a sweet pepper that produced numerous fruit – though most remained green – in spite of the cold, wet conditions. –Y.
- Cubanelle; a frying pepper with sweet flavor and many fruit –Y.
- Early Jalapeño is one of my standard hot peppers –Y.
- Hungarian Yellow Wax is another standard hot pepper –Y.
- Dancing Spirit; a hot pepper I will try again before making a final judgment -?
- Sweet Million Cherry; all starts succumbed to the wet, cold weather but I had a couple of volunteer plants sprout up from wayward seed that produced well late in the season –Y.
- Pruden’s Purple; the flavor overrides the fruit’s tendency to crack and its tall, gangly growth –Y.
- Manyel; produces small yellow fruit with wonderful flavor – my husband’s favorite –Y.
- Oregon Spring; supposedly grows well in cool spring conditions but it must do better in Oregon soils than my New England soils – N.
- Martino’s Roma; the best producer this year, great for fresh tomato sauce – Y.
Cucumber: Little Tyke; very prolific, good for pickles and eating –Y.
- Purple Queen Bush; though I did not get these or the Sequoias planted till late, both produced beautiful purple beans with great flavor. Hint: great beans for kids to grow; when cooked they turn green –Y.
- Sequoia Bush; a flat purple bean with great flavor , see above –Y.
- Pencil Pod; very prolific yellow bean with great flavor, one of my standards –Y.
- Henderson; a flavorful bush lima bean that grew well for me in 2008, but not in the cold, wet 2009 season –Y.
Summer Squash: because I planted both late I did not have to fight squash borers – hmmm … sounds like a plan.
- Ambassador; a zucchini with good flavor –Y.
- Sundance; yellow fruit, good flavor –Y.
If any of these varieties sound familiar, please share your experience with them … or make some recommendations on what veggies – a favorite bean or summer squash, or tomato – worked in your garden. And, watch for follow up posts on the herbs and flowers that grew in my 2009 garden.