How did your garden grow in 2011?

Page 1 of 2  
This year I tried cabbage, sweet corn, eggplant, radishes, Brussels Sprouts and tomatoes.
Cabbage did fantastic, so I may try it again next year. (it was the first time in my life that I can remember growing cabbage)
I planted three varieties of sweet corn, including a red variety. Unfortunately, I planted the plants too close together. I had to cut down about half of the plants to let more light and air penetrate. In the end, I had about half the harvest I had expected, but it was great to have fresh sweet corn.
Eggplant did well, but as I remembered, the taste wasn't that great. Radishes were ok, but hotter than I hoped. Brussels Sprouts grew very slowly at first, then took off into the fall.
The tomatoes were the greatest disappointment. I grew seeds from a packet that said it had 20 different heirloom beefsteak varieties. Instead, I mostly ended up with smallish 1.5" orange tomatoes. Only 1 plant out of 14 had anything that would approach beefsteak. Next year I may just buy a couple of plants, even though they mostly have the same 8 or so varieties available everywhere.
How about your garden - how did it do?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ohioguy wrote:
...

did you start the seeds indoors first or plant them outside directly?

pretty good overall. only one complete failure (lentils) and several partial failures (grapes, leaf lettuces, blackeyed peas).
we grew radishes, but i'd rather grow something else i like more.
rhubarb did well. gave over 50lbs away, didn't make any sauce this year (too busy with other things).
strawberries i ate most of when i was picking, probably over 30lbs from the first strawberry patch. now increased to three patches and added some everbearing plants for all summer and fall enjoyment. gave away a few quarts. didn't make enough jam. hopefully new patches will make this next year a good one for stuffing the closet full of jars of jam. gave away hundreds of plants from thinning that i had no room or time to plant here.
tomatoes, put up 129qts and ate plenty more. 26 plants total, 24 beefsteak and 2 cherry sweet 100s. we really don't need two cherry tomato plants... or for that matter 26 beefsteak plants. next year i think we'll be doing 4 or 8 plants total. 16 plants in one patch were attacked by a fungus half way through the summer, but the plants kept going strong. i did not bother spraying. the leaf fall thinned the plants out so they got more air so they self adjusted and i was good with that. :) we ate tomatoes right up until a few weeks ago. harvested a few buckets green before they were frost damaged and they ripened left out in the open air on a shelf in the garage. a few did rot and some we cut out spots of rot, but most of them were edible. some we even canned as there were too many all at once to eat and we'd just made a big batch of goulash.
leaf lettuces were bitter, but grew well, i did eat some of them since i don't mind a little bitter greens here or there. spinach did well, but bolted (even if it was supposed to be a kind that didn't bolt easily). that patch was taken over by volunteer squash plants and produced a few nice big squash and a few small ones.
peas and pea pods all did great, second planting of peas for pea pods is actually out there and still green, but the frosts have made the quality poor so i've left them to see what will come off them after they die and dry. will be planting plenty more of these for next year, increased my varieties to include those for better pods as those are what we like the most.
green peppers did great as usual. we had a real early crop of a few and then a second much larger crop from the 20 plants (in a 6x6ft space) over five buckets, a third crop we had just before the hard frosts hit a few days in a row. a few dozen medium to small peppers. still pretty good eating (not that i really like them much, but we do like to make stuffed green peppers from them and my sister-in-law makes salsa so we give her whatever we can't use).
grapes, i harvested a partial crop, enough to make some jam and to eat some fresh. the vine is going to be replaced with one more suitable (resistant) when i can get to it this next spring or the year after. i hope next spring.
onions did well. planting more for next year and increased varieties to plant for next year. garlic, did well, but i left it for too long so storage quality isn't the best. increased planting this fall for next year's crop in much better soil. there's plenty of odd garlics growing here or there in case i run out. good to go out and pull up fresh any time i want from these vagrant patches and leave the main harvest area alone until ready. chives, always do well, we have tens of thousands of those (purple flowers and the bees love 'em).
fresh eating beans (wax, green, lima, butter, borlatti, pinto) all did well. one patch of the wax and green beans was getting eaten by flea beetles, but i left it alone and the plants outgrew them. produced reasonably well until the soybeans overgrew them.
dry beans (pink, red, black, pinto, kidney (dark and light), white kidneys, blackeyed peas, lima, butter, lentils, borlatti, soybeans). lentils didn't do much, must be cooler weather plants as they only perked up once the temperatures declined. they were also planted a bit late so hard to judge what exactly didn't work there. will try them again sometime i'm sure. looking at around 60-80lbs of dry beans by the time i get everything shelled. more on beans in another post someday...
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11/27/2011 3:20 PM, songbird wrote:

I planted them indoors back in early February. I didn't get the variety of species I expected, nor were the vast majority the advertised beefsteak plants that were listed on the back of the seed packet. I'm pretty sure there was a seed mixup at the packing facility.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Derald wrote:

what type(s) did you plant? for down there i don't think you're super late...

what are these?
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Derald wrote:

definitely not too late. can plant those into January in the south (from what i'm reading :) ).

i hope they both go well for you. :)
i spent a fair amount of time today peeling garlic. smells like heaven in here. have a few hundred more cloves to go, will get them done in the morning and figure out some recipes to try and then make a library and store run now that the post TG shopping rush is lightened.
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
songbird wrote:

I take it that you just harvested your garlic, I have just done the same as here it grows through winter and spring. How is it that you grow yours in summer/autumn?
David
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
David Hare-Scott wrote:

it is late fall here. soon it will be snow and ice season.
this is a moderate heat hardneck garlic i lifted mid-summer, well past prime curing and storage time. it has sat around in a box in the closet gradually being used up, but because it is not good storage quality it will not last through the winter. so i'm peeling it and going to be doing something with it (including eating it as i'm peeling :) ).
leaving it in the ground longer changed storage length, but the peeling is easier (the skins split when dry, cured and aged). i had a few heads of garlic set aside that i'd pulled earlier (at the right time) and the comparison is pretty interesting.
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Derald wrote:

haha, googled inchelium red garlic and read through a bunch of descriptions. unfortunately the history in my browser gets clobbered if i open separate windows to pull up a site, so i can't give you the exact reference until i get back on-line and look through the search results again.

as i've never gardened "down south" i can't say much from direct experience, but hey, it's something to talk about. :) it's given me a good reason to read up on nematodes and more soil stuff, good things for the cold season here.

see! you're already aboard that train. (listening to Johnny Cash Fulsom Prison Blues, sorry it was the first image that came to mind :) ).
it's not meaningless as anectdotal evidence, but to be more meaningful a few years repeated is better.
as it seems pretty easy to grow a lot of extra planting cloves the trouble with doing extensive timing tests would be in having the space and keeping track of what is planted where.
you said something about putting two raised beds back into production? ;)

ah, ok, well i sure hope it works out well for you.
i don't quite understand the short day onion meaning as if you are down south you don't really have short days?
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Derald wrote:

i'd need whisky before... :)
...

that could be a fun job.

yes, i'm familiar with the fact that days get longer in the summer. i miss them already as it seems i just got going on projects when the day would be getting dark already.

ok, so basically, they are the opposite of long day for the southerners, but can they be grown in the north too? that is what i'm confused about, if they only would grow in the south then i'd need a long day version of the red creole onion or if i planted the red creole early then would they bulb out when the day length suited them and then stop?
we've only done the big yellow sweet onions here so far, next year i'm adding green onions and trying to grow some of the big yellow onions from OP seeds.
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Derald wrote:

can you get by with putting a spade down the edge or do you have to go deeper than a single spade length?

right, because of the tilt.

haha, been reading a lot lately. finished five books in the last week and then three yesterday and today on top of three magazines. good to keep me out of trouble. unfortunately the one book touted as an organic gardening book was more like a fluff piece hiding between two covers -- half a page on diseases? sad.
the other gardening book was more complete (Tauton's or Taunton's was a word in the title -- i already took it back) and much better.

too wimpy?
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Derald wrote:

that should be a welcome change. :)
are you going to abandon the old patches and put them back to lawn or keep using them for more shade tolerant plants?

heh. have you ever had a peanut butter and onion sandwich (some add mayo or miracle whip)?
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 12/02/11 12:37 PM, sometime in the recent past songbird posted this:

PB & Mayo is one of my favorite go-to sandwiches :) yum, really!

--
Wilson 44.69, -67.3

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
news.net:

I did a review about a week ago. See the post "Newbie with lots of questions".
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Packets of a variety of seeds are always a crap shoot. And unless you plant all of the them at once you are never sure that you are getting all the variety promised. Instead, buy individual packets of ones that look interesting to you. Seeds last for several years.
If you can't find what you are looking for locally there are dozens of companies that sell on the Internet. One of my favorites is http://www.tomatogrowers.com/index.html
An interesting one is http://www.heirloomseeds.com /
Another source is http://www.totallytomato.com /
My early garden did well, cabbage, broccoli, chard. The lettuces and herbs that I grow in raised beds did well too. Lettuce is another thing that I do not buy in a variety packet. I only plant a few at the time and I want to select the varieties to plant.
Summer crops did pretty well. Tomatoes got blight but the "Viva Italias" kept producing until it got too cold. I still have a handful on the counter that I can put in salads. Got swamped with peppers, especially the hot varieties. Eggplant did ok. Watermelon did well. I got one 35 pound one and several smaller ones. A turtle ate the only cantaloupe. Cukes did OK.
This coming year I am only going to plant a few varieties of tomatoes. I am thinking Viva Italia, Better Boy, Early Girl and Jelly Bean. I may add Brandy Boy and Yellow Jelly Bean. I plant lots of Viva Italia since I make sauces and can with them. The others are for eating and I don't want to get over run with them. Of course I can give some to my neighbors. I think I am about the only one on the street who gardens. I have set out my garlic and have sprouts.
Got my first seed catalogues last week. There are so many thing that I would like to plant, but shall restrict myself to my tried and true. I need to work on succession planting for the things we like to eat but do not preserve well. Ten heads of broccoli at once is just too much. DH does not like frozen broccoli and I have not been successful in making sauerkraut from the abundance of cabbage. I really need to clean out my greenhouse so I can start my seeds in February if not before. Right now it has my dwarf citrus trees, bay plant, rosemary that I am waiting for a place to plant outside, and my Stevia. I need to keep a close eye on the lemon and lime since the Meyer lemon has a fruit already and more blossoms and the Mexican lime is starting to bloom.
Thank goodness I have a few months to catch up on things in the house.
--
USA
North Carolina Foothills
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
store-bought tomato plants went in a bit too late in the season. Lot's of green tomatoes left on the vines before the first frost.
beets from seed were laughable. about the size of my thumb above the last joint. I am leaving them in the ground for the winter. Maybe something will come of them next year?
Swiss chard from seed is only now coming into its own. Had a batch of it last week and it was delicious. We'll see how long it keeps growing.
Green beans (bush) from seed are still a mystery to me. I got a few handfuls of beans, twice. Don't know if I should have done some succession planting with that, or what.
I'm mostly a hit-or-miss farmer; small square-foot plot. Not nearly as much success as I hoped for, but again, I started everything kind of late. Next year I'll start sooner with seed sprouting.
In general, I don't really have quite as much sun as I should, so the veggies suffer. I've optimized the plot location for as much sun as possible, but it's not really enough. A tree trimming may be in order for next year, although for the size tree, it will be pricey.
Zone 5 Chicago proper
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
barbie gee wrote:

The one planting ought to keep producing through your growing season provided it is not a commercial variety selected for bearing (and harvesting) in one go.

If you cannot get enough sun then concentrate on growing the leafy veges that don't need as much sun as those that fruit such as tomatoes.
David
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you pick your beans between 4" to 6" in length, they will keep setting new beans all season, providing you have sufficient sun.

How many hours of full sun? I get 5 - 6 hr, plus another hr or 2 of broken sun. While I don't get large crops, I do get tomatoes and corn, even with the cool summer that we had this year. I know that I'll be planting Stupice, Brandywine, Juliet, and Blond Kopfchen tomatoes next year. I don't know if I'll try early Girl again, I only got a few of them.
--
- Billy

E pluribus unum
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
barbie gee wrote:

some might make it and then go to seed, but more likely they'll just rot in the ground. i'd harvest them and eat them, even if small they are still good to eat.
...

do you recall the variety or still have the seed package?

oh, yes, that is going to make a lot of difference. in the meantime leafy vegetables and other veggie plants aimed more towards partial shade will improve things somewhat. we don't have much shade here so i can't recommend much other than the leafy greens (lettuces, spinach) or rhubarb (which would take over a small garden). some dry beans have done ok here when they were shaded but that's hardly worth the space in a small garden. hmm, perhaps smaller tomato varieties, like cherry tomatoes, and the patio varieties.
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
-snip-

I've never had any luck with those 'mixed variety' packets. I've probably been foolish enough to try them a few times. Last year I saw a Zucchini mix deal' of '5' varieties that I *thought* would come in 5 labeled packets but it came all in one packet. I could distinguish 3 differently shaped seeds--- and ended up with 4 varieties [a green, a striped, a white, and a yellow]
I liked the varieties- they made for very attractive salads- but I'll be buying 4 packs of seeds next year so I can take care of a hill of each.
On the tomatoes-- buy a few packets of varieties you like. The seeds will keep a few years if you keep them cool and dry.
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
@gardenbanter.co.uk says...

Spammer
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.