Sunday, October 18, 2009

Summer Vegetable Garden Recap

The summer vegetable garden hasn't come to an end yet, as shown by the (random) vegetable flowers interspersed in this post. Still, it's winding down, so now seems like a good time to report on the varieties I attempted to grow this year.
I grew everything from seed except the Serrano pepper, which was purchased at Lowe's.
Lemon Cucumber (1): Vine was large and fairly productive. Cucumbers were delicious, especially when harvested before they turned bright yellow. I only ate these raw. Vine eventually succumbed to bacterial wilt, but appeared to be somewhat resistant. A keeper.
Sumter Cucumber (2): Grown for pickling and salads. Unfortunately, vines were infected with wilt quickly and I only harvested one small, deformed cucumber from two vines!
Black Krim Tomato (4): Delicious medium-sized tomato, resistant to cracking. Fairly productive. Vines were last to succumb to disease. Tomatoes were good raw and cooked in tomato tart. Will definitely grow again.
Yellow Pear Tomato (6): Huge plants, very early and very prolific. Tomatoes were good, but not nearly as good as the tart Clementines I grew last year. Better cooked (roasted in oven with other veggies or heated through in cream-based pasta sauce) than raw.
Beefsteak Tomato (2): Harvested approximately 4 tomatoes from two huge plants. Tomatoes were good-tasting, but not exceptional or unique in flavor. Vines were first to succumb to disease. Not impressed.
Cherry Peppers (1 red; 1 chocolate): These tiny plants took a long time to get established and start producing. The peppers are slightly spicy, not sweet like colored bell peppers. They would be good to use as appetizers, stuffed with some kind of dip, but they are so tiny that seeding them is a pain. Probably best for ornamental use.

California Wonder Bell Peppers (8): Slow to start producing, but going strong from late summer into fall. Typical green bell pepper flavor (I haven’t let any turn red). Plants were visibly boosted by a side-dressing of compost after fruit set. Plants are tall, requiring staking, and have had no problems with insects or disease.
Early Long Purple Eggplant (6): It took ages (and bottom heat) to get the eggplant seeds to germinate and grow into decent-sized plants, but it was worth it. The plants are problem-free (though they seem happier staked), and the eggplants are tender and tasty, especially when harvested young. They have produced steadily from mid- to late summer through fall.
Contender Bush Beans (1 pkt.): My first time growing beans, and I definitely picked the right variety. These plants were care-free and the beans were plentiful and delicious. They produced for a couple of months with regular picking.
Shallots: I planted my shallot sets too deep. They multiplied, but not much. I’m going to be replanting the best sets soon.

Yellow Squash/Zucchini: Borers killed every single squash plant before a single squash came to fruition. I’m done with summer squash.

Serrano Pepper (1): The one plant has been completely problem-free, and has produced what seems like hundreds of peppers! It produced consistently through the summer heat and is still going strong in the cool fall.

Hope this is helpful to someone. Have a great week!



Janet said...

Wow Ginger, good for you to keep track and review your harvests! I did a variety of tomatoes for a few years, one remembered once they were in the house which was which.

Randy Emmitt said...


We grew Lemon Cukes too, loved them. But it was a bad year for blight and they didn't last long. We try Serranos next year. We grew Magnifico Peppers from seed they were late producing but excellent peppers/

Susie said...

I'm so envious of all the luck you had with your produce. Nothing really worked for me this year. It's so depressing after taking care of the plants. I do have to admit my hot banana peppers did do good and are still trying to produce somewhat. I'm tired of trying to grow zucchini/squash too. I've never had luck with this.

I don't know what I'll try next year. Right now I do have a couple of brussel sprout plants but they are just sitting there looking at me. Oh well. Guess that is what gardening is all about.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

That sounds like a pretty good summer overall. How about I'll grow the zucchini and you grow the eggplant and we'll trade :) I've never had luck with eggplant.
It must feel great to have enjoyed so many veggies grown from seed.
I can't wait to try the 'Black Krim' next year.

Ginger said...

Janet: I like the black krims so much that they may be the only (slicing/regular-sized) tomato we grow next year. I wish I'd had more of those plants and none of the beefsteak!!

Randy: I'll have to look up Magnifico peppers! I highly recommend Serrano. I've "preserved" a bunch of them chopped with coarse salt in the fridge - works great for any recipe requiring salt and hot peppers! (Thanks, Martha Stewart)

Susie: No need to be envious -I've had a real mix of success and failure!! We're just amazed/pleased that the raised beds get enough sun in the backyard to produce ANY vegetables!
I'm growing peas now, and will also try lettuce and shallots again this fall/winter. I gave up on carrots and scallions after trying them the past two winters with little to no success. Win some, lose some!

Heather said...

Ginger, it looks to me like a successful year! Your peppers sound amazing and I will try serranos next year. Glad you enjoyed your garden and it obviously enjoyed you back!