Monday, October 4, 2010

Plant Summaries

I wanted to write up summaries that showed the performance of the crops we grew this summer.  Below highlights what we noticed…

Black Diamond Yellow Flesh Watermelon – BIG healthy plants that produced multiple melons. The melons themselves were juicy and beautiful but not very sweet. Part of the problem probably came from us not watering frequently enough. We harvested one full size melon and will be getting about 3 additional small melons by the end of the season.

Crenshaw Melons – The plants began very big and healthy but were killed by the Cucumber Beetle and bacterial wilt, so we never got any melons.

Amish Paste Tomato – Very large, beautiful plants with lots of tomatoes that look like big Roma tomatoes. The fruits were easy to peel and meaty. We love these for sauces and salsas!!!

Ernie’s Plump Tomatoes – These plants were not as lush with leaves and produced significantly less tomatoes. These tomatoes tended to be much harder to peel (even when blanched) and we ended up with a lot more of these rotting because they seemed to be more susceptible to bugs.

Chadwick Cherry Tomatoes – We did one of these just for the heck of it in a pot and it developed into a big plant with lots of large cherry tomatoes. These are bigger than the average cherry tomato, but they were very tasty.

Hungarian Yellow Wax Hot Peppers – These were our most productive hot peppers. The plants were kind of small but there were always one or two peppers developing whenever we checked the plants.

Jalapeno Peppers – These plants struggled and we really didn’t get anything off of them. Many of them died so we supplemented our hot peppers with other varieties which seemed to struggle as well.

California Wonder Pepper – We had one plant pull through the season and now that we are about to get our first frost, we are about to get our first pepper. Funny and sad, but next year we will definitely go for a different variety because based on feedback from other gardeners, this variety is notoriously unproductive.

Black Seeded Simpson – These were fairly dedicated germinators but they went to seed before we were able to harvest much of anything off of them.

Snowball Cauliflower – The plants germinated well and grew into huge, healthy plants but they never developed any crowns!

Iceburg Lettuce – We had to buy seedlings of these because our home-germinated plants all died. The plants began to grow nicely but they bolted before developing heads.

Caribe Potatoes – These all germinated fairly well, grew into beautiful plants and gave us as many potatoes as they could. Unfortunately, we needed to give them more room, because six-inch deep soil just doesn’t give much room for potatoes to grow.

Appaloosa Beans – These plants all struggled. We got a few successful grown up plants, but out of all of them, we ended up getting ¼ cup of dry beans in the end. We tried to supplement with another variety of white dry bean, but that was not productive either.

Henderson Bush Lima Bean – These plants germinated very well and grew into healthy plants, but we had some sort of pest that liked chewing up the leaves. We missed out on the first round of harvest for these beans and we only got a handful of beans in the end.

Kentucky Wonder Bush Bean – These plants germinate fairly well but again they suffered from a bug that liked to munch the leaves. The plants ended up providing us with tasty beans for a few meals but nothing really significant.

Danvers Half Long Carrots – These seeds germinated very well and grew into the biggest carrots they could be. Unfortunately, that meant they only got to be about 4-6 inches long because of the limited bed space.

Homemade Pickles – These plants germinated very well and grew into big healthy plants that produced more cucumbers than we knew what to do with for a while. Sadly, after about a month of producing we got Cucumber Beetles and bacterial wilt that killed all of them very quickly.

Thomas Laxton Garden Peas – These peas germinated the best of the 3 varieties and grew into the biggest plants with lots of pods, but the pods were all fairly small. We probably got a cup of shelled peas out of these plants.

Oregon Giant Snow Peas – These were the second best germinators and were by far the most productive. We always had some snow pods to munch on while the plants were growing and they were very tasty.

Sugar Snap Peas – These did not germinate well at all and did not produce very much. We got a few handfuls of pea pods off of all the plants we grew which was very disappointing.

Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach – These germinated very well and were tasty based on the few leaves we got to eat. Unfortunately, they bolted very quickly, so we hardly had any harvest time.

Zucchini – We grew 3 gorgeous plants from seed, which germinated very well. We got one big zucchini off of one plant and that was it for the harvest. The plants ended up being the last to succumb to the Cucumber Beetles and bacterial wilt.

Onions – We planted onion sets and the limited space of the beds resulted in the onions we harvested being little bigger than ping pong balls (those were the big ones), so that didn’t work out so well.