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?
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
you said something about putting two raised
beds back into production? ;)
ah, ok, well i sure hope it works out well for
i don't quite understand the short day
onion meaning as if you are down south you
don't really have short days?
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.
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
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.
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
An interesting one is
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
Thank goodness I have a few months to catch up on things in the house.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.