Saturday, October 31, 2009

Summer Garden Lessons Learned

I took advantage of yesterday's warm weather and lack of rain to bring in the rest of the produce from the summer garden. I couldn't believe we got over two pounds of green beans this week, in the last week of October. And tons of tomatoes, too, including all of the green ones to store up in the cool basement. I'm going to do like I did last year and wrap them individually in newspaper. That gave us tomatoes through December and part of January last year, ripened a few at a time.

This week's haul alone was 22.5 pounds of produce. I think I've been averaging at least that for most of the summer. I meant to diligently weigh all of the veggies we brought in from the garden this year and get a good idea of how much we were growing, but of course most of the time we just go out and pluck some lettuce or a cucumber or the kids go grab some snap peas and it never gets weighed.

Lessons learned from this year's summer garden:

The yellow Taxi heirloom tomatoes were not a very good producer. They were supposed to be large, but ended up much smaller than the red ones, they split easily in the moister fall air, and produced about half as many as my romas and bigger red tomatoes.

I planted two types of green beans, Blue Lakes and Kentucky Wonders. One of them produced nice thin green beans that the kids like to eat, and the other had pods that quickly got fat and woody and not very edible. But I didn't write down which variety I planted where! So now I don't know which ones to order for next year. Anyone knowledgeable about green beans can help me out on this one?

Planting the peppers much earlier (March instead of May) produced a much bigger crop, even though it took them a long time to get going.

You can only eat so many cherry-size tomatoes. Next year I'll only plant one or two instead of three or four bushes!

Now it's on to the fall garden, I've got loads of kale and chard still going strong. Yum!

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