With Labor Day weekend being the unofficial end of summer, it seems a good time to review my gardening efforts, a mixed bag, at best:
Tomatoes - the only thing that did well was the yellow pear salad tomato. I won't repeat the varieties I used this year. The heirloom paste tomato I used is the size of a cherry tomato, only oval. The 2 plants bore fairly well, but since they are so small, not enough to do anything with. I will go to tried-and-true Romas, and the German Pink I saved the seed for.
Potatoes - a complete failure and mystery. They grew like crazy, bloomed, died down, I waited 3 weeks, and then......not one potato. I dumped the container out into the wheelbarrow and sifted through - nothing. My only guess is the die-down was a blight, not the normal harvest signal.
Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts. Broccoli did OK, but takes up so much room for one head each and some follow-up shoots, I don't know if it's worth repeating. Brussells Sprouts are doing very well - it's a good thing I like them! They say a light frost makes them sweeter, so I will be looking forward to these for a while yet. Maybe only 2 plants instead of 4 next year.
Chard - great in a new location. Doesn't grow as big in a pot as in the ground, but that's OK.
Eggplant - I found out if I prune the plants back by about 1/3 when growth stops, it will restart growth and give another flush of flowers and fruit. I can't decide if I like the long, thin Japanese style or the more traditional bigger, rounder fruits. Not bothered by bugs - a real plus!!
Green beans - I got enough of the 'Greasy Grit' beans for a couple of servings and I still have pods forming to save some seed, but I miss the sweet and tender bush beans too. I may grow both next year.
Lima beans - forget it.
Onions - I had quite a lot, but none got larger than small-to-medium. Some came out of the ground after a whole summer of growing, looking nearly the same as the set that went in. I wasn't the only one, and read on a blog of someone else having the same problem.
Garlic - did great. Plant LOTS MORE!
Peppers - I got lots of jalapenos off one plant . Only had to buy a few more to have enough to can and dry. Maybe 2 plants next year? Bell peppers - don't bother, or try in the ground. Got a few smallish misshapen peppers off 2 plants.
Turnips and beets - didn't get big enough to harvest as babies before hot weather hit and ruined them. I have re-planted some turnips for fall to see if they do any better.
Herbs - all did great, but who can't grow herbs? I have enough dried to give some away as little gifts. The basil LOVED the hot summer, and I got enough for 4 little zip-bags of pesto and 2 ice cube trays full of just chopped basil and olive oil - for throwing into soups, couscous, etc. It's still going, so I'll let some of the rest go to seed for saving.
Patty Pan sqash - the bugs got it, but try again next year
I had LOTS of bugs - my brassicas and beans were nearly more holes than plants, and I lost count of how many tomato hornworms I picked off the tomatoes (ick). Next year get more serious about companion planting and organic sprays (using things like oil, soap & baking soda) to try to control them early.
That my story.....how did YOUR garden grow?