Sunday, July 26, 2009

mid-summer garden

Every year I start out my garden with such high hopes and every year it doesn't live up to them. But every year I have some successes among my failures. This year I've been very impressed with Fortex climbing beans. These seeds were given me by my mother and it is a wonderfully tastey, high-producing climbing bean and an heirloom plant at that! Another plant that was very impressive was the garlic. It has a different growing cycle then I've ever had to deal with before (planted in the early fall and harvested mid -summer) but it produced quite a bit and was absolutely no maintainence. Chinese cabbage was another super easy big producer. This year was my first year to try Yard Long Beans. They are easy to grow and producing quite a bit, but I'm the only one in the house who really likes the flavor. Kohlrabi was easy to grow and tastes good, but it didn't produce that much. Sure looks wierd. Naturally the bush beans did great. The onion sets are the perfect plant, they grow every year and you can harvest them at anytime. Radishes produce dependablely, but no one really likes them that much. Swiss chard was easy, but it isn't anyone's favorite either. Leaf lettuce is easy and produces pretty good as long as the weather is cool. And, as far as I can tell, sweet potatoes are a good garden plant. they worked last year and they sure look like they are happily growing this year. Rhubarb. I like plants I stick in the ground and ignore. Rhubarb definately qualifies as low maintainence. I guess I should mention apples, even if this is an "off" year for apples. When they choose to produce they do it very impressively (they usually only produce big crops every other year). And strawberries. They are easy and taste fabulous, but my strawberries are on the tiny side. We still eat them. I guess I should throw in raspberries. They're easy to grow and taste great but I never get enough to bring in the house.

Things I have trouble with year after year-- spinach. I never get hardly any at all. Sweet peas. I get enough to make it worth my while, but they sure never make it to the freezer. They taste good picked fresh and popped in the mouth, but that is about all I ever get. Potatoes. I get a crop's worth, but they are so cheap in the store they're hardly worth growing. Carrots. I'm really lousy at growing carrots. Tomatoes. You'd think I'd have this one down pat, but I really need to talk to someone who's a tomato expert. I get some but never the huge amounts most gardeners get.

Plants that hardly seem worth the effort-- Broccoli, cabbage, eggplant, nasturiums. Let me just say nasturiums are a lovely flower and are supposedly edible, but no one likes the flavor, so it is more of a bragging right then a vegetable.

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