Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Part 2: Tomatoes, Potatoes & More

Here is part 2 of my summary of this year's garden. Click here to read part 1 from yesterday.

Potatoes- We enjoyed a good crop of potatoes, even though I cut down the foliage early to prevent disease spread. Next year I need to be better about picking of the beetles and water only in the morning. We enjoyed the All Blue potatoes for their color, liked the creamy texture of the Irish Cobbler, and our Yukon Gold taste good though they lack the gold color. We still have some in the basement in a old lobster box.
Peppers - I planted a fair amount of both hot and sweet peppers, but our yield were poor. High heat in July seemed to make them all drop their blossoms. Next year I need to start the seedlings earlier to get them to a fair size before the are planted out.
Eggplants- Eggplants had the same problem as peppers, not much production. I also need to start them a lot earlier next year. They were significantly smaller than the ones nurseries were selling for seedlings when it was time to plant them out.
Tomatillos- The pineapple tomatillos were wild and out of control. We enjoyed their flavor but next year they need to be restrained. I also want to try traditional green tomatillos.
Tomatoes- The support system we designed just barely survived the year. Next year we need stronger posts, cross braces and I need to plant the tomatoes singly along the center of the row rather than in two lines. This means that I need to plant half as many plants. However I hope that with more room they will do just as well.
I started two cherry tomatoes and two green zebra early and put them in the ground with walls of water in early May. This meant that I had early cherry tomatoes but the green zebras didn't produce as fast. Next year I hope to start a wider variety of tomatoes early. I think I have enough to do 8 plants.
As far as varieties go, the Amish Paste was great, with large paste tomatoes and a prolific producer. The Chelsea Cherry tomatoes were good and early, but large for cherry tomatoes. I'm hoping to plant another couple varieties instead next year. The green zebras were prolific as well and we enjoyed the flavor of green pasta sauce. Red zebras weren't that exciting and are off the list for next year. Market Miracles were ok, I will do fewer of them next year. My heirloom mix produced some stars and some duds. I did a little detective work to try to find the names of the ones I was saving. I'll plant a few of them next year.
The winner of the tomatoes this year was the Purple Calabash. They were the first tomato besides the cherries to ripen, and though small, they pack a lot of flavor. They were just the right size for a tomato sandwich for breakfast, which I enjoyed daily for almost a month. I has about 6 plants of them this year and I'll do just as many next year. They'll be one of the varieties I start early.

So that's the wrap up for the year. I've already ordered seeds from Fedco for next year, through my local coop which does a bulk order and therefore gets 20% off. And I'm thinking of working on a preliminary plant for where things will go in the New Year. My husband and I recently discussed where the light table might fit in our new house.
Before I know it will be time to start seeds!


Daphne said...

It is really hard to restrain a tomato plant. They just want to take over the world.

Robin said...

Most of my peppers did not do well this year either. I do believe that it was the heat. Most of the hot peppers did well though.

I was pretty happy with the tomato support system that I used this year. I found the idea on I think that Thomas used this system as well.

I just can't to get started on next year's garden!!