As with the flowers, this past year I grew a number of vegetables. Unlike with the flowers, I had grown several of these in the past and had been successful with them. Still, there were quite a few new varieties in the mix.
First up, brassicas. My first year growing veggies I grow almost exclusively brassicas, as we eat a lot of brassicas. I do NOT recommend that new gardeners try this. Back then, I didn’t know what cabbage worms were, nor did I realize that earwigs also attack brassicas. Now I do, but I have still not been successful and keeping any of them alive. 😦 This third year will hopefully be the winner–I have several small beds with clear plastic covers which will hopefully keep the bugs off.
|Bok Choy, Purple Lady--This is a cute little purple bok choy. Unfortunately, as with most of my brassicas, they were demolished by cabbage worms.|
|Broccoli, RUDOLPH (sprouting, December)–I started this one late in the year (September, I think), and by the time the first frost hit it was still too small. I may try it again next year.|
|Cabbage, Kalibos–Cute medium-sized purple cabbage; I grew it last year as well. Unfortunately, eaten by cabbage worms. May try again this year.|
|Cabbage, Napa One Kilo Slow Bolt–This is the first year growing this cabbage. I’ve always considered this kind of cabbage a Napa cabbage, but apparently it’s better known as a Chinese cabbage. This cabbage grows exceedingly fast–it was full size in two months. Unfortunately, it was decimated overnight by earwigs.|
|Cabbage, Nero di Toscana (Dinosaur Kale)–I’d seen this kale lauded by several youtube gardeners, so I thought I’d give it a try. It was the strongest growing of my kales, but even it succumbed to cabbage worms.|
|Cabbage, Violaceo di Verona–This was my first year growing this was well. It was one of my strongest cabbages, and the outer leaves were a lovely plum color which faded to green in the center. Even if you don’t successfully harvest a cabbage out of it, it’s still a great ornamental. Will definitely grow again this year.|
|Kale, Russian Red–This kale was pretty small, even after a few months. I hear it’s tasty but it never really thrived, so I never ended up trying it.|
|Radish, Miyashige White Daikon–This was such a tasty radish! Very cool and crisp, not spicy at all. I’ve definitely be growing this again next year.|
|Rutabaga, American Purple Top–I had a few of these survive the cabbage worms, and cooked them up like I would potatoes or any other root veggie. The taste is a big different–a bit brassica-y and a bit fruity compared to potatoes. I’ll probably grow a few again this year, but I’m not obsessed with them.|
Next, legumes. I love snacking on sugar snap peas during the spring and summer, but I’ve found them difficult to grow for some reason. Again, I’m hoping the third year will do the trick. Also, I’ve finally tried fava banes, and I love them!
|Fava, Aquadulce— I didn’t care much for fava beans (broad beans) until I started watching British gardeners. who absolutely love them. I was able to sneak in a small crop|
|Snap Pea, Royal Snap II (purple)–I grabbed a huge bag of these fro Johnny’s because I trust Johnny’s to have good crops and I thought it would be cool to grow a purple bean. As it turned out, the plants didn’t grow very high or produce very well, and the favor was just eh.|
|Snap Pea, Magnolia Blossom Tendril–I grew these my first year and was not very impressed–small plants, few flowers, blah taste. This past year, however, they really thrived in the top tiers of my greenstalk. They had a ton of really delicate pink flowers and I even enjoyed the peas! I will be growing this again next year.|
One of the big motivations for growing a garden is to have good quality lettuces on hand, I tried maybe 10 (?) varieties of lettuce this year, but with everything else I was growing, it was hard to keep on top of them and they often died. Here are the ones I remember harvesting and eating.
|Lettuce, Little Gem–Very cute, small romaine. Not enough for a salad.|
|Lettuce, Parris Island Cos (Romaine)–Soft romaine lettuce, did not grow that large. Tasty.|
|Lettuce, Salanova® Green Sweet Crisp–I love the Salanova series, but I was not a fan of this one. Too thin and pointy.|
|Lettuce, Salanova Red Butter–Soft, medium-sized head of lettuce. Tasty.|
I also love beets and Swiss Chard, so I tried several of these as well. I had grown all of them except for Bolthardy Beets.
|Beet, Bolthardy–Highly recommended by one of my favorite Youtubers, Charles Dowding. I picked this up at the end of the season and I don’t recall having much success with it.|
|Beet, Bull’s Blood–This variety is mostly intended for microgreens as the foliage is dark red. I grew it to full-sized; it was okay.|
|Beet, Cylindra–I had the most luck with this best. Full-grown, about half of it stuck out from the soil and half was buried. The oblong shape made it easier to peel, which is a benefit.|
|Swiss Chard, Ruby Red/Fordhook Giant Mix–I had a lot of luck with Swiss Chard as well, –it survived the heat pretty well as long as I ket it watered. I had one plant grow to 3′ tall–just one tall, wrist-thick stem with swiss chard leaves sprouting out of the top. I have no idea it could grow that big! Even so the leaves tasted fine.|
Asparagus and alliums:
|Asparagus, Purple Passion–Planted a few two-year-old crowns, have not tried any yet.|
|Asparagus, Jersey Knight–Planted a few two-year-old crowns, harvested a few skinny ones but let most grow. Both sets of asparagus seem to be thriving.|
|Chives, Common–Slow grower. Once I pulled it up to make way for other plants I found that it had spent most of its energy growing a massive root system. Will probably plant again this year and keep as a perennial.|
|Leek, King Richard–Planted a ton of these this year as I use a lot of leeks in my cooking. Germination was so-so; harvested maybe 30 skinny leeks from a good 100 or so seeds. Will try again next year.|
And finally, carrots! Another garden snack. Unfortunately this year, my carrot harvest was abysmal. I’m prepared for this year with a good 7000 seeds as the seeds are pretty cheap and it’s so hard to get them to germinate. I’ve also added some celery for good measure.
|Carrot, Kyoto Red–Was successful with a few of these. The red carrots are not as sweet as the orange or yellow ones, I’ve found.|
|Carrot, Sugarsnax 54–One of my most successful carrots. They are very long and very sweet. I’ll be growing a bunch of these this year.|
|Carrot, Uzbek Golden–I’ve grown these two years in a row now, with moderate success both times. The ones I’ve harvested have been sweet.|
|Celery, Chinese White Cutting–No luck germinating or growing this variety.|
|Celery, Chinese Pink Cutting–They variety grew well but I planted it too late in the season to get a good harvest out of it. I’ll be growing it again this year. Should be easier to grow than the usual full-sized European celery.|