Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dreaming of Gardening Despite the Snows of January.

The Best Part about Winter is Dreaming About Spring.

I have looked back at old garden posts, and they need some information about how different garden plants turned out.

In 2009, I posted on the Profusion Zinnia in the front yard, and they did not work out. They came up and grew, but the fairly shady spot with its weak soil was a disappointment. The plants never were tall enough and showy enough.

I posted on the "well-reviewed" yellow pear tomatoes too in 2009.  The plant grew vigorously, but the yellow pear tomatoes tasted like like wheat-paste. Not very good at all.

The Black Cherry tomatoes were a big success. The tomatoes were so good that I wish they would have been more productive.

Last Year's Garden Plants - 2010

Eggplant - standard variety - very product, but took up more space than expected

Leaf lettuce (Burpee Muslin Mix)/Spinach/Arugula (Burpee) - turned out well, I planted them between the tomatoes, and the shade extended the season. The rabbits never found them, or if they did they left them alone. The Arugula was great.

Zucchini (Ambassador) - Very strong and productive, and lasted all season. Large plant that needed more space.

Cucumbers - big success. I just bought them at the store, and it worked pretty well.

Peas - (Burpee Snow Wind and Burpee Mr. Big) Not a good year for these. I only harvested a few peas. the cucumbers grew through the rabbit fence that I had around them, and I never was able to take the fence down.

Catnip - God! The catnip grew and grew. Even with Jenny harvesting continuously, and the cats flopping down on the plants, they still invaded the eggplant and the peas.

Tomatoes - one of each -  Burpee Big Boy; Pinetree Seeds Black Cherry, Burpee Black Truffle, Sungold, Sweet 100;  The most disappointing part was the failure of the large tomatoes. My tomatoes typically get mold during July, but usually they keep growing faster than the mold can kill them.  The plants had a good start, and the red cherry tomatoes produced pretty well. The Black Cherry, Black Truffle and Big Boy were very disappointing. In 2011, I intend to start a second crop of tomatoes in June -- in addition to the main crop started that I put in the garden in April using Wall-o-waters.

Pineapple Tomatillo (Pinetree Seeds) - I only planted one of these, and it was just OK. I have had more productive plants in other years.  These taste great though.

Strawberries - This was year four for most of the strawberries, and I was really disappointed. I attributed the bad harvest in 2009 to over crowding, and thinned aggressively. The plants did not seem to take off in the Spring like they should have. I thinned them out again this year, and if I don't get some fruit, I am going to take these out, and put in flowers.

Petunias (White and Red Madness) - One of my favorite varieties, but increasingly hard to find. The white ones were more vigorous than the red ones, and some parts of the planting were out of balance.

Brussel sprouts - turned out pretty well, and tasted like Brussel Sprouts.  Ended up with more brussel sprouts than I wanted.

Butternut squash - good year for butternuts. Still have some.

Pimento - I like pimento. It has a thick skin, and never gets hot. The peppers are small enough that half don't go to waste.  One thing I have learned is that all my peppers are 100 times hotter than the store bought analog.

French Marigolds - I planted two trays of French Marigolds as a border around the garden, and that worked pretty well.

Basil - I only plant basil for the fragrance in the garden. I seldom use it in the kitchen - perhaps once a season. I don't really like pesto, but it does smell nice outside.

2011 Garden Plants

Eggplant (Lavender Touch) -

Arugula and leaf lettuce -

Cucumber (Muncher) -

Zucchini (Eight Ball, Pinetree Seeds)-

Tomatoes - eight plants - five started in April; three in June - (Sun Gold, Sun Sugar, Black Krim, Early Girl (Improved) and Celebrity) Early Girl and Celebrity are returning to the line-up after several years on the bench. Early Girl is the most popular tomato in the US, so there must be something good about it. I am also after a medium sized tomato. Celebrity has a lot of disease resistance. I have never been too impressed with it in the past, but the Celebrity tomatos look nice and taste pretty good. Black Krim may be a mistake -- it is a Black Russian Beefsteak Heirloom, so there is a 90% chance that next year's posting will talk about how I got only 1 or 2 decent tomatoes from this plant, but I can hope it will be a treasure of flavorful exotic fruit. I hope to plant the Sun Gold and Sun Sugar today.

Pimento  - Got these on eBay from Dragonfly183.

ASPARAGUS - The story is that in every house I have lived in, I always get transferred before the asparagus is large enough to eat. I have been hesitating planting it since I am not ready to move. I am ordering asparagus roots this year. I am going to take space devoted to strawberries, and convert it to asparagus.

Zinnea (Queen Sophia) -

Petunia (Prime Time) -  I gave up on looking for more of my favorite, the Madness Petunia. I don't want to try Waves; it seems everyone is planting them.

The backyard is waiting for Spring too.