November 7, 2010
Garden season is winding down. This afternoon we planted garlic and shallots, and it felt really good to be digging around in the dirt one more time before the weather turns too cold. Fortunately, we had a lovely sunny day for working. It took us about 3 hours to turn over a couple of beds, plant everything, and clear out the last of the dead plants. We left our broccoli plants which to date have produced exactly three tiny heads of broccoli. I'm curious to see whether the heads will get any bigger.
In some ways, this year's garden wasn't as successful as last year's. We battled heat, drought and bugs. But as a result we also learned some things and the stuff that did really well--like eggplant, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, and beans. Because we doubled the size of our plot, we had room to try new things. We also started much earlier in the spring and kept going through the fall.
This was the first year that we tried lettuce, and we were really happy with all the varieties. Especially tasty was Black Seeded Simpson, which grew nicely in spite of the very hot, very dry weather. We tried spinach too, but it didn't do well at all. Other firsts this year included garlic, peas, snow peas, buternut and acorn squash, watermelon and cantaloupe. We were so happy about the garlic that we planted twice as much for next year. Peas were yummy, but we needed to plant a lot more! We munched our way through two crops of snow peas: what a treat. Watermelon was pretty successful--we ended up with six good-sized melons. More importantly, they were delicious. Cantaloupe tasted awful (we probably won't do those again next year). Squash, zucchini and cucumbers were all devastated by bugs.
Possibly my most favorite vegetable for 2010 were the Nardello peppers, which I probably would never have tried or even known about except that CR gave me a packet of seeds. Another fav would have to be the zinneas, which brightened up the garden entrance all summer long.
The whole set of garden photos for 2010 is on my Flickr page. In a few months, we'll be looking at seed catalogs and planning for 2011.