Monday, July 25, 2011

around the garden: successes

it's so easy for something to go wrong in the garden. there's the weather, first and foremost. some days it seems like if we need rain we get unrelenting sunshine and even if it does rain, we get hail instead of a nice summer shower. the early spring had me doubting whether anything would grow, but i'm back to share with you some of our garden successes. i hope you'll share a few of yours with me, too.

hot portugal

so let's talk peppers for a moment. we haven't really had any luck growing green peppers here in vermont. i think the growing season is too short. this year, we decided to focus most of our energy on hot peppers. our hot portugal peppers (pictured above) and our hungarian hot wax are both doing beautifully.

garden lesson: to save on disappointment and seed costs, plant what does well in your area. take notes. if green peppers don't want to grow after several seasons, adapt your garden plan.

tall tomato plants

and now, i'm going to contradict myself because while i'm completely happy to let my local farmers grow green peppers, i will never give up on growing tomatoes. to me, it wouldn't be summer without tomatoes in my backyard. we've had mixed luck with them in vermont (including one brutal season of late blight), but i'm happy to report that this year, we have strong, healthy tomato plants.

garden lesson: grow what you love. try blight resistant varieties (read those seed catalogs!) and be vigilant. a daily walk through your garden may help to avert a disaster.

our broccoli harvest

okay, now this is my favorite success story. sure, we've grown broccoli in the past but usually it's been nothing but a battle with cabbage worms. this year, not the case. i'm not even sure what we did differently. i am in LOVE with this variety, and of course, i want to share it with you. this, my friends, is an organic hybrid called fiesta. it can tolerate cold and heat, produces gorgeous heads, and i've heard it produces plentiful side shoots. the only downside to this variety is that you can't save seed because it's a hybrid. however, it's the best broccoli we've ever grown so i'm making notes to buy more seeds next year.

garden lesson: try new varieties. take notes to remember what performed well. celebrate the harvest by making a special supper with your homegrown produce.

mexican sour

i think i'm the most excited right now by this new variety of cucumber we're growing. this is the mexican sour gherkin that i first read about over at you grow girl. they are tiny cucumbers with a beautiful pattern on their skin much like a watermelon. the vines are thin and fragile but they seem to be producing a ton of cucumbers. we're excited to try these.

1 comment:

  1. I love this, Shari! Optimism is so necessary, in almost any pursuit ...

    The little gherkin is so lovely. I might plant a tiny garden for myself next year, and perhaps I'll try those. Also, just food for thought -- we've never tried it -- but a farmer friend of ours sometimes saves hybrid seed, and sometimes has success with it. I have no idea how that works, genetically, but it could be worth trying just to experiment!