Tuesday, November 27, 2012

2012 Vegetable Garden Review - The Triumphs

Where bad things happen so do good things.  Life is all about balance.  We harvested more food out of the vegetable garden this year than we ever have before.

We started harvesting early in spring which was new to us.  The asparagus was finally mature enough to pick, I planted out hardy greens earlier than usual and we had our first crop of strawberries.


There were a lot of firsts this year.  I planted an array of veggies that we haven't tried before.

Dragon's Tongue Beans were a new addition
Peas, beans, rutabagas, zucchini, cucumber, and arugula were all new plants in this garden.  The Dragon's Tongue beans were a gift from a blogging friend.  I haven't voluntarily eaten a bean in years but since these were on hand I thought why not try them?  Turns out I love these.  Makes all the difference when it comes out of your own garden doesn't it?

While the peas and rutabagas had some issues, it was the opposite situation with zucchini and cucumbers.

Zucchini's quickly grew out of control
I was giving away bags of cucumbers and zucchinis to my co-workers as there was no way we could possibly keep up with all the produce I was generating.  Even nicer though was how much my co-workers liked them.  One person in particular was thrilled to receive garbage bags full of basil for making pesto.

So many of the plants, like basil, loved the hot dry summer we had.  Peppers are an iffy crop here as we don't have hot weather for long enough.


But I even managed to grow a few sweet red peppers this season.

The real star of this year's garden though had to be the tomatoes.  Red ones, yellow ones, purples ones.


We ate them fresh, we made soup, we made chili, we froze them and we gave them away.  If you're interested in a review of the different varieties we trialed click here.  Overall a great gardening year and now I need to start planning for next season!

11 comments:

  1. I like reading about your triumphs so much better than the tragedies. What a great year you had! And there is nothing so appealing as a shiny red pepper. It's art. It's food.

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    1. Laurrie, I like the triumphs better too! It was pretty nice being able to pick a pepper for the first time but I think I'll need a warmer place for them in other years if I want to keep growing them.

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  2. Sounds like you had a great year for veggies and berries. Won't the chili sauce and other preserves be a nice reminder of summer when the snow is flying this winter. I did okay with herbs, tomatoes and carrots, but poorly with just about everything else. Next year I will do better...or so I hope anyway.

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    1. Jennifer, it's so sad but we've almost eaten all the tomato soup already! By spring I'll be dying for fresh vegetables again. The nice thing about veggies is there's always next year.

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  3. That's a bumper crop, and eating those veggies in the winter will be so worth it.

    I am going to try strawbale gardening in the spring, have mixed ideas about it. Have you heard anything about it at all.

    Jen

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    1. Jen, I had to look up strawbale gardening and how cool is that? I've never seen or heard of this before but I'm really interested. Straw is pretty easy to get here so that parts easily done. To me it looks a bit like lasagna style gardening, leaves you a really nice bed once you're done with it. Would be a good way to start new planting spots in your yard. My only reservation was all the extra fertilizers needed in the straw.

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  4. I'm glad to see you have had more triumphs than tragedies with your veggies Marguerite, you do grow an interesting variety of veg,

    going back to soil improvement, one thing I've noticed from reading and finding out more is that different plants including veggies have different nutriant needs, from what I have read bone and blood meal is for root growth, potash seems to be needed by many plants, apparently clay has many nurtriants already but if the soil is acid the nurtriants are locked in lime helps release them as you do lime then they should be more availible, however I was surprised to learn that potatoes do not like lime, with this in mind maybe other root or tuber veg might not like it too, also lime twice a year sounds like a lot to me from what I have learnt, apparently we can over feed, it is all a balancing act,

    if I remember you didn't have a good crop of tomatoes last year but this year they have done well, that's the ups and downs of gardening, Frances

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    1. Thank you for the info Frances. We have very acidic soil here and lots of potato farmers so not surprised to hear they prefer acid. I know blueberries and also rhubarb like acidic soil. Unfortunately the majority of veg crops seem to prefer a more neutral soil so that's why I've added lots of lime this year. I'm hoping in future years I won't have to repeat this and can just stick to compost. I do have a soil testing kit too which helps to give a general guideline where I'm at with acidity and nutrients.

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  5. Lots and lots of delicious triumphs! Hope next year is even better.

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    1. That's the hope isn't it? Every year we hope for bigger and better.

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  6. Looking good! And yes growing your own does helps in the taste department. :)

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