Wednesday, September 20, 2017

More on this season's vegetables

The summer vegetable season is just about over, so I thought I'd better write down what happened before I forget it all. Just making notes for myself, but maybe this will be of use to others as well.

A tomato I forgot about in my last post was Momotaro, which did very well, consistent in production, perfectly-shaped and pretty tasty fruits. I've now taken all my tomatoes out and filled the space with a crimson clover cover crop - yes, I might have harvested a few more tomatoes, but frankly I was getting sick of dealing with them. Definitely fewer plants next year!

Peppers: Corno di Toro was yet again a great producer and the long red fruits were beautiful and delicious. Pippin's Golden Honey makes small sweet peppers that ripen through about five colors; this is not a good photo but gives you an idea:

They do give you a taste of honey along with a perfect crisp juicy pepper taste, and are great in salads or sautéed with onions. Too thin-walled to roast (which is what I did with a lot of the bells and other larger ones). I used up the last of the Romeo red bell pepper seeds this year and may get more; haven't seen them anywhere but John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds. I also grew a mix from Burpee and those did fine. Peppers are still in until I decide no more will ripen.

Eggplant: I grow these in pots on the deck to avoid flea beetles. Had the best luck with a Chinese Long type. Patio Baby eggplants were a disappointment; the fruits had to be harvested so tiny to be edible that it wasn't worth trying.

Okra: Similar disappointment with Jambalaya, a container variety. Nice compact plants, but the pods got woody at more than about three inches.

Beans: I used fabric pots on the deck to grow these, and got a very modest harvest, which was probably due to overcrowding, shade, and lack of fertilizer.

Squash: Monticello cymling/pattypan, nice enough but got ALL the diseases and pests resident in the community garden.

Plans for next year:

I've made the major purchase of a VegTrug trough planter:

which is currently planted with the fall greens I could get at Johnson's (collards, bok choy, and miscellaneous Asian greens) since I didn't start any myself. It has a cover, as you can see, in fact two: lightweight insect control for the warmer seasons and plastic for winter. I plan to keep these going as long as practical, and start new plants in the spring, then probably switch to beans for the summer.

In the community garden, I'll grow fewer tomatoes than this year, plenty of peppers, and a vining Tromboncino squash on a trellis - it's the best summer squash for resisting pests and diseases, especially squash vine borer and powdery mildew. How it does against the mosaic virus that keeps going round the garden I will have to find out, but I think it's my best bet. If I get too many squashes I can always donate them. I guess I'll grow something there in the spring, but I plan to take my time and get a slow start.

We'll see what else happens, but I'm aiming to keep things simple.

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