As I look back on this second year in this garden, some of last year’s successes were repeated, others were not. Some of last year’s failures were corrected, others were not. Here are part of my reflections. Previous posts were on Root Vegetables, Onion Family Crops and Cucumbers & Squash, Tomatoes & Peppers.
I grew three varieties of peas this year. Two were snow pea varieties (Mammoth Melting Pea & Dwarf Grey Sugar) One variety was shelling (Progress #9). In previous years I’d had trouble with germination. So I sowed the seeds very heavily this year. They sprouted very well and took off. Both the snow pea varieties did well, producing for a long period of time. I picked every day for a while to get them nice and tender. When we tired of them, I let them go and we shelled some of the larger ones. The shelling peas didn’t produce enough to be worth it. One note is that the Dwarf Grey Sugar were not dwarf at all, but the seed catalog says this year they won’t be selling it since it wasn’t very true to type. I’ll used the seed I have and may save seed from them next year. We were able to blanch and freeze some of the peas and recently enjoyed them in a stir-fry.
Over all we got over five pounds of peas.
Green Beans & Fava Beans
I only enjoy green beans fresh, so we planted bush Romano and Kentucky Wonder pole beans. I also tried some Yard Long Beans, but they were so eaten by the slugs early on that they never produced. We picked the Kentucky Wonder when they were young and tender, and they were better than last year when we let them get too big. We didn’t pick many of the Romano this year. I’m not sure if I’ll plant them again next year.
Fava Beans were an experiment for us this year. They produced and were good, but didn’t produce much for each plant. I read somewhere that you should pinch of the tops of the plants early on so that they bush out instead of just going straight up. I’ll try this next year.
This year I simplified the dried beans. I planted Trail of Tears black beans from Daphne and Cannelloni white beans, and scarlet runner beans. The pole beans (trail of tears and scarlet runner) are nice because they are easier to pick. The Cannelloni look good, we just haven’t eaten them yet. I’ll try a few new varieties next year.
This was the first year I’ve grown any type of corn. I grew a dwarf Dakota Black popcorn. We had so-so pollination of it and I picked it early because of Hurricane Irene, but we still got a harvest of 1 lb. We’ll try again next year and may try sweet corn too.