Garden year in review – 2009

GardenersWell, things are winding down in the garden. For the first time, it seems less like I’m racing the frost and more like I’ve eaten everything interesting in the garden. Here’s a recap:

  • Total of about 367 lb. of produce total
  • Over 125 lb. of produce to Food Gatherers this year!
  • Peas – fabulous! Over 14 pounds of edible pod peas, between the greenhouse and the garden. My sweetie has decided they are the best raw vegetable ever and eats them in preference to carrots in his lunch when they’re available. I planted a second crop July 23 (some in and some out of the greenhouse) that is just starting to set pods – we’ll see if there’s a second crop or not.
  • Green beans – also my best year ever. Nine quarts in the freezer and five pounds to a potluck, plus lots fresh.
  • Carrots – planted Napolis and Danvers. One of them – I think the Napolis – branched a lot. Got a nine-pointer the other night. I still have a hard time growing carrots, but I want to keep trying because we like them so much.
  • Parsnips – haven’t harvested most of them, but the ones we got (Turga variety) were good.
  • Rutabagas – Very good crop, though somewhat wormy. Try covering the crop next year.
  • Turnips – Ditto. Planted a second crop Aug. 25th but I think that was too late to even get greens.
  • Squash – blah. Got squash bugs. Harvested a goodly number, but they weren’t very ripe or sweet.
  • Tomatoes – Don’t die of shock, but I think I may not grow any tomatoes next year. I don’t really *like* tomatoes all that much, and I found I can get organic tomatoes for 80 cents a pound if I want to make a batch of salsa.
  • Onions – were troopers, as always. I went to the trouble of planting out leek sets I’d bought this year, and they grew into onions, not leeks. *facepalm* I really want to grow leeks – from side shoots and bulblets, if not from tiny hairlike transplants.
  • Radishes – quick, easy, and way yummy to pickle!
  • Pickling cucumbers – great crop (“little leaf”), and I think I will plant the same number next year. I planted 24 plants; about 2/3 survived, and that gave us a quart or two of cukes every other day for a month. I’ll pick them smaller next year, but I think I can’t get enough to pickle a quart if I don’t have at least a dozen plants.
  • Potatoes – definitely planting Kennebecs next year if they hold up well in storage. These were prolific and medium-to-large in size.
  • Sweet potatoes – They are still in the ground, mostly, so no final report yet. The couple plants I did dig up already yielded about a pound of finger-sized roots between three or four plants in the greenhouse. They were tasty, baked whole with a little oil and salt.

I’ll write up a separate report on the greenhouse.



  1. Ed Bruske said,

    September 18, 2009 at 7:05 am

    Emily, branching carrots may indicate you have too much nitrogen in your soil.

  2. varmentrout said,

    September 30, 2009 at 7:34 am

    Another thought on the carrots – rootknot nematodes. Watch for knots. Also overly dense soil – but this was in raised beds?

    My results with Kennebec were similar – 3 1/2 pounds per plant, apparently near the top of the range – and no disease problems.

    Wish I could grow peas. How early to plant outside? Mine have rotted in the ground twice.

    • Emily said,

      September 30, 2009 at 9:50 am

      Yep, carrots were in raised beds with excellent soil. They weren’t gnarled, just had too many legs!

      I planted my peas (Sugar Ann?) outside on April 18 this year. I don’t soak them first. A lot of people say to soak them, but I think if you soak them, and the soil is at all dry, it then dries out the little sprout and they die.

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